Members of the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations gathered in front of Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai on Wednesday to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, The Hindu reported. The protestors gathered at the site despite the Madras High Court order prohibiting them from carrying out a demonstration.
There was heavy police deployment in the area on Wednesday morning. The protestors sought to march to the Tamil Nadu Secretariat to press for their demand that the Assembly pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
The road to the secretariat and the War Memorial was blocked. Protestors halted near the Chepauk cricket stadium in Chennai and leaders addressed the crowd from a makeshift stage. The police deployed five drones to monitor the situation on the road.
Demonstrators dispersed around 12.30 pm after singing the national anthem. “We are protesting on behalf of all people of Tamil Nadu, including you and AIADMK members,” said Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam leader MH Jawahirullah.
The anti-CAA protesters at Old Washermenpet in Chennai, who have organised a sit-in over the last five days, said they will defy the court’s order to march to Fort St George, which houses the Assembly. “Though support is understandably thin in the morning, it begins to swell as the day progresses, peaking in the evening and at night,” an organiser said.
The police had baton charged the protestors on February 14, alleging that they pelted stones. This led to protests across Tamil Nadu the next day.
Over 3,000 people took part in a march in Tiruchirappalli on Wednesday, shouting slogans against the Citizenship Amendment Act and asserting that they would not show their documents to government officials. Protestors also gathered near the Thoothukudi district collector’s office. A march to the collectorate was organised in Coimbatore.
More than 5,000 people, part of several Muslim groups, participated in a rally in Tiruppur district. The march proceeded towards the district collectorate around 11.30 am, police said, according to The Hindu. In Madurai city, protestors were stopped near the collectorate, after which organisers asked participants to leave as a delegation had decided to submit a plea to the district collector, according to The Times of India.
A bench of Justices M Sathyanaraya and R Hemalatha of the Madras High Court had on Tuesday issued an injunction till March 11, restraining the the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations and its allied associations from organising the agitation on Wednesday, News18 reported. However, the court did not express any opinion on the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11, grants citizenship to people from six communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, if they have entered India by December 31, 2014. However, the Act excludes Muslims from its scope. Protests against the Act have led to 32 deaths so far.