Thousands of protesters held a massive rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Chennai on Wednesday. This was held at Chepauk in Chennai.
Along with the Indian flag, agitators carried placards against CAA, NRC and NPR. The original plan was to block the Tamil Nadu Assembly, located inside the state Secretariat. The police had declined permission, yet the protesters marched the distance. The estimated number could be close to 15,000 and they walked towards the Secretariat and the District Collector’s office.
Even though the Madras High Court had told the protesters not to march to the Tamil Nadu assembly, they continued the peaceful protest and didn’t go towards the assembly building.
The ruling AIADMK has come out in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, which fast-tracks the process of giving citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries. The AIADMK says the CAA doesn’t affect Indian citizens.
Chief Minister E Palaniswami, an ally of the BJP, has appealed to the protesters to maintain “communal harmony”. “The Tamil Nadu government will not allow any move that is against Muslims,” Mr Palaniswami said.
Thousands of policemen were deployed at the site to ensure nothing untoward happens. They have appealed to people against posting “provocative” messages on social media.
The CM also told people, “the state government would not allow any acts against minorities and would stand as a shield for them.” Another area in Chennai, the Washermanpet, continues to be the site of ongoing protests against CAA. It is referred to Chennai’s Shaheen Bagh.