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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - 16 metro stations shut as anti-CAA protests gain steam.
Voice Internet and SMS services were shut in some parts of Delhi in view of the demonstrations planned by various groups against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens on Thursday.
Mobile Internet and SMS have been shut in these areas of Central Delhi area, Central district, Walled city area, Mandi House, Selampur, Zafarabad, Shaeenbagh, Jamia Nagar, Mustafabad as per instructions, said an operator.
Department of Telecom sources said the they would not share details on this as it is sensitive information to law and order.
Bharti Airtel put out a Twitter message: "As per instructions from government authorities, voice, Internet and SMS services are currently suspended in areas."
All telcos have shut their services in these areas.
2 flash points identified
A total 12 flash points were identified by Delhi Police in the national capital where various groups have organised demonstrations "for and against" CAA and National Register of Citizens on Thursday.
The law enforcement agencies have imposed Section 144 in these places and have made adequate security arrangements.
From Congress party to Popular Front of India, all have organised congregations at various locations in Delhi. The demonstrations started at 8am and are expected to continue till night, the Delhi Police internal note, accessed by IANS, stated.
Congress MLA from Assam Rupjyoti Kumar sat on fast at Jantar Mantar at 8am and police expects a congregation of around 100 people.
16 metro stations shut
Entry and exit at as many as 16 Delhi Metro stations were closed on Thursday as people, staging protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), gathered at various venues despite massive police deployment and imposition of prohibitory orders in several places on Thursday.
In the latest development, DMRC has shut entry and exit gates of Vasant Vihar and Mandi House metro stations. However, it has been clarified that interchange facility is available at Mandi House.
Earlier in the day, entry & exit gates of Patel Chowk, Lok Kalyan Marg, Udyog Bhawan, ITO, Pragati Maidan, and Khan Market were closed. "Trains will not be halting at these stations," read a tweet on official Twitter handle of DMRC.
Congress slams internet shut down, imposing section 144
Amid crackdown by police on the protestors opposing the CAA, the Congress has criticised the decision to shut down the internet services in Delhi.
Congress has issued a statement, saying: "It is the democratic right of every citizen to protest peacefully against the government. Imposing #Section144 and internet shutdowns are draconian measures to muzzle citizens by a government that is terrified of hearing what Indians have to say. The BJP should be ashamed."
The Congress which has opposed the CAB and now the CAA has been accused by the BJP of instigating the protests across the country. On Thursday, the police have detained Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit at Mandi House who said that he will come again to protest.
Talking to IANS Sandeep Dikshit said: "The police crackdown is uncalled for as police is working on the direction of the Union Government and is trying to suppress the dissenting voices, but the government has failed on it as more people are coming out on the streets to oppose the anti-people and the divisive CAA."
The party is at the forefront of the agitation against the CAA and scores of its leaders have approached the Supreme Court against the CAA.
Entry, exit gates around Red Fort closed
The iconic Jama Masjid to Kashmere Gate path which houses Red Fort, Chandni Chowk and is generally crowded by transporters, tourists and traders from across the country and abroad witnessed a major clampdown oas police blocked entry and exit to this path to anyone and everyone.
However, one has to go for frisking first before entering into the pass, police said.
Barricades were put up on every entry and exit of the stretch, while security forces carefully monitored everyone on this path. Meanwhile, the security forces' move aimed to prevent an anti-CAA march which was to start from Red Fort and conclude at Shahidi Park at near ITO.
The move however, received mixed reaction as many criticised the security arrangement, while others made fun out of it.
Internet and mobile services were blocked in and around Red Fort, though no officials comment were received from Delhi police.
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