The Hyderabad Police on Monday registered a case against activist Khalida Parveen and some students of the University of Hyderabad for organising a flash protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Tolichowki on Sunday, The News Minute reported on Tuesday. All the participants in the protest were women.
The police said the protestors were not granted permission, and Parveen, 65, was booked under Indian Penal Code sections related to unlawful assembly, wrongful restraint and public nuisance.
“The protest caused a lot of public nuisance and inconvenience and obstruction of free flow of traffic towards Mehdipatnam and towards Raidurgam area,” said Venkatramana, the sub-inspector who filed the case. “I have taken custody of 61 members and photographs of the protest through video cameras. Others have absconded.”
Parveen said the protestors would seek legal advice. “My work is activism,” she added. “NRC [National Register of Citizens] and CAA are completely against the spirit of the Constitution. If we do not raise our voices now, then when will we?” The activist said the protestors were not afraid of being attacked with batons, and prison. “We are using our democratic right to dissent,” she added.
A few women had started the protest under the Tolichowki flyover on Sunday. They held the national flag and squatted on the road. Soon, the crowd of protestors swelled. The demonstrators raised slogans such as “Modi teri tanashahi, nai chalegi, nahi chalegi” (Modi your dictatorship will not work) and “kaala kanoon wapas lo” (repeal this black law).
The protest disrupted traffic at the junction. Police officers tried to intervene and end the protest, but the demonstrators said they were exercising their right to dissent peacefully. The standoff between the police and the demonstrators continued till 3 am on Monday. When the protestors refused to leave, the police packed them into vehicles and took them to the Goshamahal and the Golconda police stations.
The Hyderabad Police had earlier also booked the organisers of the “Million March” held on January 4. The march took place despite a police warning that “permission had only been granted for a 1,000-strong gathering”. The demonstrators filed a complaint with the Telangana Minorities Commission.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed in Parliament on December 11 and notified on January 10, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised and sparked protests for excluding Muslims. At least 26 people died in protests against the legislation last month – 19 in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.