The continuous protests against the film Innocence of Muslims that the city witnessed over the past few days may be over as Muslim organisations that led the protests say they have decided to call it a day.
“As most of the Muslim organisations took part in the protest on Tuesday, there is no need to organise any more protests. I hope the protests have come to an end,” said S.M. Backer, president of India Tawheed Jamath. ITJ was one of the many organisations that participated in the protests, though it independently organised a protest of its own a few days ago.
When asked about their stand, leaders of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), which was in the forefront of protests against the film, said there would be no more protests.
“Tuesday’s protest was to show the collective strength of Muslims but we expected only 1,500 protesters,” said D. Baqavi of Socialist Democratic Party of India, which accounted for a large part of the gathering on Anna Salai. However, the protest led to unfortunate violence because over 5,000 people turned up, which was not anticipated at all.
“We expected a cadre-based protest to bring all parties together. But all Muslims, including businessmen, working professionals and others joined because the protest was staged on Anna Salai,” Mr. Baqavi said.
“We had asked for a place in Saidapet or Chepauk, but the police felt that would hinder traffic on all sides. They asked us to gather and hold the demonstration near Dams Road, so they could cordon off both sides using barricades,” he said.
The protest turned ugly when crowds began spilling over from all sides leading to a mob destroying the glass pane of a bus and attacking a few shops on Anna Salai.
“Since Muslim-dominated areas such as Triplicane and Pudupet are close to Anna Salai, there was unanticipated crowd which went out of control,” he said.