Tamil Nadu’s principal opposition party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), and its 11 allies and fraternal parties and organizations took out a massive rally in Chennai on Monday to protest against the amended citizenship act (CAA), demanding that the legislation be repealed.
Thousands of DMK workers and those of its coalition partners poured on to the streets despite the city police denying permission to the protesters.
“It is a war to save democracy in the country. We will not stop until the atrocious CAA is repealed. If the Centre fails to heed and act, we will launch a much bigger protest across the state by taking on board our allies,” said DMK president MK Stalin.
CAA has given the DMK a new front to take on the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in the state and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre. The DMK has also focused on the legislation not including Sri Lankan Tamils.CAA fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from three of India’s Muslim-majority neighbours — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The Dravidian major is charging the AIADMK, which backed the law in Parliament, with betraying the Lankan Tamil refugees and the minority community to appease the BJP.
Since early morning, DMK functionaries and workers, and representatives of its allies carried flags and placards, gathered at Egmore, the venue from where the rally was to commence. The destination, Rajarathinam Stadium was two kilometres away.
DMK MP Kanimozhi, Congress leader P Chidambaram, TNCC chief KS Alagiri, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan, CPI(M) state secretary K Balakrishnan and CPI state secretary, among others, joined Stalin in the procession. Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi lawmaker Thamimum Ansari too joined the rally. His party is an ally of the ruling AIADMK.
In neighbouring Puducherry, a topper of the Pondicherry Central University refused to remove her headscarf and turned down the gold medal at the convocation. Prior to her staging the protest, President Ramnath Kovind, who delivered the convocation address had left after handing over certificates and medals to a few students.
Rabeeha Abdur Rahim (25), a topper in MA in Mass Communication, hailing from Kerala and who had earlier participated in anti-CAA protests at the university, was whisked away along with a few other students from the venue by the security personnel. She was kept outside till the President left. “Later, on the stage I accepted only my degree Certificate and turned down the gold medal in protest. My protest was also with regard to the CAA,” she further said.
Stir in bengaluru
Thousands of anti-Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) protesters on Monday brought the Karnataka capital to a grinding halt with huge rallies and sit-in demonstrations to demand its withdrawal, police said.
“As Section 144 (of the CrPC) was lifted on Sunday across the city after three days, protest marches and sit-in demonstrations were allowed under tight security. Barring stray incidents, the protests were by and large peaceful,” a police official said.
The peak hour vehicular traffic was gridlocked due to the protests. As 35-40 organisations representing students, activists, lawyers and minorities under the ‘Joint Action Committee of Bengaluru’ marched to Quddus Saheb Eidgah ground near Cantonment from different routes, the city was under lockdown for hours since noon.
Karnataka government has decided to order a CID and a magisterial probe into the violent protests in Mangaluru that left two people dead.