Other States

Mamata announces anti-CAB protests, expresses concern over India-Bangladesh relations

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

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CAB and NRC are all the same, she says.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a series of protests in the State against the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) and expressed concern over the turn India- Bangladesh relations have taken after the passage of the legislation. 

The Chief Minister cited the cancellation of the visit of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Ministers from Bangladesh and noted that the developments were a “matter of shame for the country”.

“What turn has our relations with Bangladesh taken? Since the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, we have had a good relations with them. Whenever they come to our country, the first thing they always do is praise Indian government and people. And we never call Sheikh Hasina communal. She is Bangabandhu’s daughter. We all love her,” she told journalists.

Ms Banerjee said that on Monday there would be a protest organised by her party from the statue of B R Ambedkar, Red Road to Jorasanko Thakurbari. A similar protest would be organized on Tuesday in South Kolkata Jadavpur 8 Bus Terminus to Jadubabu Bazar in Bhawinpore. She urged people from all political parties other than the BJP to join the rally.

She reiterated that her government would not allow the implementation of the CAB. “In West Bengal, our government won’t do it. No NRC, no CAB… They say they will forcibly implement the CAB and the NRC [National Register of Citizens]. I would like to state categorically again that the NRC and the CAB won’t be implemented.” 

Protests turn violent

Meanwhile, after days of peaceful protests against the CAB, the situation turned violent in certain parts of State like Beldanga in Murshidabad and Uluberia in Howrah district. Protesters attacked a railway station. In certain parts, protesters burnt tyres disrupting traffic on national highways. In Kolkata, a protest rally was organised by multiple minority organisations. 

Governor Jagdeep Dhankar urged people to believe in the rule of law and avoid violence. 

The Chief Minister called a meeting of senior police and administrative officials at the State Secretariat.

Earlier in the day, Ms Banerjee appealed for democratic protests against the contentious legislation.

“Regarding the NRC and the CAB also, we tried to reason with them. We tried to bell the cat. They need to understand that all States have various sentiments. Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Punjab all have their sentiments. We told them not to play with fire,” Ms Banerjee said, adding that the CAB and the NRC were all the same. 

Cancels Delhi visit 

The Chief Minister said she had cancelled her visit to Delhi on December 17. “ It will not be proper for me to leave my State. Bangladesh is on our border. They are very sad and shocked. Assam is also on our border. It is on the boil. Tripura also.” 

Ms Banerjee said she had congratulated all parties that had taken a stand against the Bill. “Let us all build a people’s moment across India by using all our strength. Punjab, Kerala all should start a mass movement.” 

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 8:34:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mamata-announces-cab-protests-expresses-concern-over-india-bangladesh-relations/article30296786.ece

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