Posted on February 19, 2020, 12:39 PM IST
In spite of court orders against any kind of mass gathering teeming crowds poured on to Chennai's Wallajah Road today to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The massive march comes a day after the Madras High Court on Tuesday restrained a body of Muslim outfits from going ahead with its proposed agitation to lay siege to the Tamil Nadu assembly pressing their demand for a House resolution against CAA, NRC and NPR.
The anti-CAA march in Chennai is being carried amid mass police presence. The protesters have put up a makeshift stage in Chepauk where the Tamil Nadu Secretariat is located. The road towards the Secretariat from Chepauk has been cordoned off using barricades. Riot police are on standby as well.
The protesters took out a 200-meter walk from Kalaivanar Arangam stadium to Chepauk. On Tuesday, a bench of justices M Sathyanaraya and R Hemalatha granted the interim injunction till March 11, restraining the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations and its allied associations from holding the agitation, proposed for Wednesday. The court made it clear that it was not expressing any opinion on the Citizenship Amendment Act or the National Register of Citizens or the National Population Register.
The siege protest has been called to bring pressure on the AIADMK government to adopt a resolution in the assembly opposing the CAA as had been done by several non-BJP ruled states. An attempt by opposition DMK to move an anti-CAA resolution in the assembly during the session failed with Speaker P Dhanapal disallowing a notice for it, saying the matter was sub-judice, an apparent reference to petitions challenging the amended act in the Supreme Court.
Prohibitory orders under Section 41 of the Madras City Police Act have been imposed banning any kind of agitation or demonstration in the city for a period of 15 days commencing from February 13.
Chennai has been seeing continuing agitations against the CAA for over a month, including the latest stir in a north Chennai locality Washermanpet, by various organisations opposing the CAA and other measures. The protest has been on at Old Washermanpet in north Chennai from February 14 and been dubbed as "Chennai's Shaheen Bagh" in the social media.
A congested neighbourhood, Muslims form a sizeable chunk of the population here. Two streets serve as a protest venue and volunteers have put up a lengthy pandal to provide shade.