Protests, resignations and Award Wapsi: How Indians responded to the passing of the CAB

By NewsDesk,

It has not even been 24 hours since the CAB was passed in Rajya Sabha but the protests against the controversial Bill (now scheduled to be an Act pending presidential assent continue to spread across the nation. While several states have seen protests against the Bill, the situation is particularly grim in Assam where citizens have taken to the streets. The Times of India reported that three Army columns have been requisitioned by civil administration in Tripura and Assam. In Dibrugarh, Assam, security forces did a flag march but protesters continue to come out on the streets. 

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All major cities of Guwahati saw massive protests against the passing of the Bill, with a curfew imposed in some parts of the state. Mobile internet services were suspended on Wednesday night and continue to remain so at the time of publishing the report. 

Meanwhile, calls for the general public to gather at the Latasil Playground in Guwahati saw security forces trying to cordon off the area to ward off any protesters, but according to a user on social media, people broke the cordon and have gathered at the playground.  

In light of the situation, flight operations between Kolkata and Dibrugarh were suspended. The Guwahati-Shillong Road saw massive, spontaneous protests against the CAB and the police had to resort to teargas shells to disperse the crowd. A social media user pointed out that in Beltola, an area in Guwahati, local dissenters refused to let a politician’s convoy pass through and pelted stones at his cavalcade. 

The Press Trust of India added on Thursday morning that train services to Tripura have also been suspended. 

‘Civil disobedience’ sees IPS officer resign, Sahitya Akademi award returned 

Even as the Rajya Sabha was debating the CAB, senior IPS officer Abdur Rahman decided to resign from the service as a mark of protest against the proposed legislation, a decision he said he took in “civil disobedience”.

Posting his resignation on social media, Rahman, a 1997-Batch IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, said, “I condemn this Bill. As a civil disobedience, I have decided not to continue in the service and thus not to attend office from tomorrow. I am quitting the service finally. I am sorry to those who want me to continue in service and give justice to the deprived people.”

Similarly, Mumbai based senior Urdu journalist and writer Shirin Dalvi has decided to return State Sahitya Akademi Award in the protest against the CAB. In a message on social media, the writer said, “I am saddened and shocked with the news the BJP led govt had passed CAB, an attack on our Constitution and secularism and in protest against this inhuman law I am announcing that I would return State Sahitya Academy Award given to me on my Literary Contributions in the year 2011. The CAB (Citizens Amendment Bill) is divisive and discriminatory.

I am returning this award to join the voices of my community and to people fighting for secularism and democracy. We all have to stand firm to protect our Constitution and Ganga Jamuna Tahzib.” 

Meanwhile, criticism against the Bill has come from all sections of the society. Students at AMU continue to protest against the CAB even after the authorities filed FIR against over 500 students.

Similarly, Hyderabad Central University, Benares Hindu University, Jamia Millia Islamia and various other universities organised protests. 

A statement against the CAB has also been signed by over 1,000 scientists, including 200 from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and over 140 from IITs. “We are issuing this statement in our capacity as concerned citizens to express our dismay at the reported plans to table the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, in the Parliament,” the petition said.