The protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) are similar to the resistance that students and political parties had mounted against the Emergency, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday.
A joint protest, which five Left parties organised at Mandi House, was broken up by the Delhi police within 10 minutes of the agitators having assembled there. The police argued that Section 144 was in force, so an assembly of more than four persons would not be allowed. All prominent leaders of these parties, including CPI general secretary D. Raja and Mr. Yechury, were detained.
Breaking with the norm of taking detained leaders to the nearest police station, the police carted them off to north Delhi, many kilometres away, and dropped them at an undisclosed location.
The leaders and those who escaped arrest at Mandi House and the Red Fort came to Jantar Mantar to continue protest. “This is more like resistance to Emergency. Look at this generation, they are the inheritors of India. They are agitated over the change in India’s constitutional status,” Mr. Yechury said. “The protests were an outpouring of frustrations of students and others with the government’s lackadaisical approach to the economy. The students are asking what is the government’s job. It is to address livelihood concerns. The economy is in recession, unemployment rates are the highest we have ever seen, our farmers are committing suicides.”