Thousands march to protest in Hyderabad against CAA
Hyderabad: tens of thousands of citizens turned up to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens at Hyderabad’s Dharna Chowk on Saturday afternoon. The’Million March’ protest, which was conducted by an umbrella of Muslim and civil society organizations, drew a sea of protestors from all walks of life, notwithstanding the Hyderabad police stating that only 1,000 people are permitted to gather the site.
The protest in a way was a victory for the organizers, who were first refused permission to perform a rally at Hyderabad’s Tank Bund (which is one of the principal thoroughfares connecting different parts of the city) last month.
The consent to hold the public meeting at Dharna Chowk was granted after the organizers approached the Telangana High Court, which asked the city police to rethink the application for its protest. The cops allowed to be held from 2 to 5 pm.
Given the anti-CAA and -NRC sentiments running among taxpayers, many turned up of the demonstration much before 2 pm, with the audience continuing to swell at around 3 pm. The incoming sea of taxpayer protestors also caused the police opening the NTR Stadium behind Dharna Chowk, in which many of the protestors were accommodated. The turnout was undeniably higher than what was expected.
From”Inquilab Zindabad” into”Narendra Modi down down”, protestors chanted various slogans.
“People are extremely angry and frustrated. The Centre will now know better than to go ahead with the NRC. This protest isn’t just about the CAA or NRC, but about all of the atrocities that were being perpetrated against minorities by right-wing activists associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),” said Mohd. A student who turned up in the protest along with his friends, imran.
Muslim women, including housewives and the elderly, also turned up in large numbers. Students from the city left early from classes to show up in solidarity or also gave their school a miss. Moreover, from throughout the city, business owners from markets like the Pathargatti (from the Old City) and Abids areas also downed their shutters in solidarity and showed up the’Million March’ protest.
The major protest, which a police official, who did not wish to be named, said easily touched 10,000 individuals, comes only about 10 days after the RSS also held a march at the Saroor Nagar stadium (which comes under the Rachakonda police limits. The Greater Hyderabad area is divided between the Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda commissionerates) on 25 December last year.
“If the authorities can allow those RSS individuals to march on the streets, then there isn’t any way they can deny us our right to protest. We’re coming here with the Indian flag in hand, rather than the saffron flag which basically is a symbol of divisiveness. It is very unfortunate that the organizers had to go to the High Court, which clearly proves that the cops will also be biased,” said Sara Syeda, a second-year graduate in the town who turned up to protest with her friends.
Prior to this, there was a similar demonstration held in Dharna Chowk in December after the CAA was passed. Post that, ordinary citizens, who were fed up of the police also organized many flash protests.