Violent protests against the newly-enacted citizenship law spread to West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh on Friday, with troublemakers resorting to firebombing and stone pelting in several areas.
In West Bengal, Kolkata witnessed snap demonstration at several places, bringing traffic to a standstill, while mass protest rallies were carried out in Muslim-dominated districts of rural Howrah, Murshidabad, Birbhum, parts of Burdwan and North Bengal.
In Murshidabad district, bordering Bangladesh, protesters set the Beldanga railway station complex ablaze and thrashed railway security personnel deputed there.
Protesters also pelted stones at trains at Uluberia and Chengail in Howrah, injuring two drivers and an RPF personnel. Additional police forces were rushed to the troubled spots.
“Several parts of the station, RPF kiosks were set on fire and the tracks vandalised. Services have come to a halt here,” senior RPF official said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee called an emergency meeting at the State Secretariat. “The situation is under control,” said Gyanwant Singh, additional director general of police (law and order).
In Raghunathganj area of Murshidabad, the agitators set vehicles on fire and tore copies of the amended Act. They blocked National Highway-34 and ransacked vehicles and nearby shops. Several people were injured when their vehicles were pelted with stones.
The district administration has blocked internet services in Aligarh district since midnight in view of the protests.
In Bareilly, shops remained closed in Old City areas as thousands of activists of Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Musalman-e-Bareilly held a demonstration in various parts of the city.
They were, however, prevented from taking out a march by the district administration.