New Delhi, Dec 16, 2019: Protests in Bengal against the citizenship law brought the simmering tension between Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to the fore once again. After Mamata Banerjee tweeted about a "mega rally" in Kolkata this afternoon, the Governor posted that he was "extremely anguished" at the "unconstitutional and inflammatory" act, NDTV reported.
"I am extremely anguished that CM (chief minister) and Ministers are to spearhead rally against CAA, the law of the land. This is unconstitutional. I call upon CM to desist from this unconstitutional and inflammatory act at this juncture and devote to retrieve the grim situation," the Governor tweeted.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had urged people to join her rally against the "unconstitutional" Citizenship Amendment Act. "A mega rally will be held today in Kolkata to protest against unconstitutional CAB Bill and #NRC. It will begin at 1 pm near the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar on Red Road and end at Jorasanko Thakurbari. Come, let us all, every section of society, join this people’s movement in a peaceful manner within the ambit of law," Ms Banerjee tweeted. While her Trinamool Congress has held protests over the last three days, she will join them today.
The Governor summoned the Chief Secretary and police chief to discuss the situation. On Sunday, amid protests in several parts of West Bengal, internet services were suspended temporarily as a precautionary measure.
Mr Dhankhar described the situation in Bengal as "seriously compromising" the values of the constitution.
"Taking note of highly disturbing developments in the State that seriously compromise our constitution values and rule of law, both the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police have been called upon to seen me tomorrow at Raj Bhawan at 10 am and brief me on the situation," Mr Dhankhar tweeted.
The new law seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who escaped persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and entered India before 2015.
On Sunday, the ruling Trinamool Congress protested across the state. Party leaders including ministers held rallies and demanded that the citizenship law be scrapped, alleging that it discriminated against Muslims.
Protests against the citizenship law turned violent last evening in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University and the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh. Several students and policemen were injured in clashes and 100 students were detained in a crackdown on campus that has been denounced by Jamia students and teachers. Protests have spread to other campuses who have expressed solidarity with Jamia.