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Congress stands up against crackdown on students, Priyanka Gandhi leads 'symbolic protest' at India Gate

Congress stands up against crackdown on students, Priyanka Gandhi leads
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Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with a host of senior party leaders on Monday went for a 'symbolic protest' at the India Gate...

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with a host of senior party leaders on Monday went for a 'symbolic protest' at the India Gate here against the police action during students' protests over the citizenship law in the Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh.

The protest, which started at 4 pm under her leadership, will continue for the next two hours. Sitting on the protest along with a slew of other Congress leaders, Priyanka was holding a placard, which reads: "Stop attacks on young students" while other states "not lathi and shooting, give us employment".

The other key Congress leaders who joined in the protest included general secretary KC Venugopal, former Defence Minister AK Antony, PL Punia, Ahmed Patel and national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

"This is a government that has attacked the rights of youths and students of the country. That is why Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other senior Congress leaders have decided to sit on a symbolic protest at the India Gate from 4 pm for the next 2 hours," said Congress spokesperson Surjewala.

"Rather than encouraging peace, they are encouraging violence. Prime Minister Modi has turned a blind eye towards the situation. The day has come that our country's youth stands strong against the government, the government should begin counting their days of downfall," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Congress general secretary blamed the ruling-BJP government for the violence that erupted in Jamia Millia Islamia last night, alleging that the government has attacked the Constitution and the students.

"The government has attacked the Constitution and the students. They attacked students after entering the university," Vadra told reporters here.

"We will fight for the Constitution. We will fight against this government," she added.

On Sunday, several students and cops sustained injuries in a protest in Jamia Nagar area.

The protesters had set the DTC buses on fire near Bharat Nagar area on Sunday after demonstrations turned violent. Protestors also vandalised a fire tender that was sent to douse the fire, injuring two firemen inside the vehicle.

Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa had said that a section of the mob had turned violent and started pelting stones on the police and at houses due to which police were forced to resort to baton charge and firing tear gas shells.

Following the incident, opposition parties hit out at the Central government for passing the citizenship law without thinking about its consequences.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that "real culprit" is the Central government that passed the 'unpopular' Bill in Parliament without thinking about its consequences.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed from Parliament earlier this week and became an Act with President Ram Nath Kovind giving his assent to it on November 12.

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