Bengaluru defies Section 144

People who gathered to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act near Town Hall Bengaluru on Thursday.

People who gathered to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act near Town Hall Bengaluru on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.

Citizens say they will continue to protest

Hundreds of protesters defied Section 144 of the CrPC that was imposed across Karnataka and gathered at Town Hall and Mysore Bank Circle in the city on Thursday to voice their anger against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and the imposition of Section 144.

In the morning, they came in twos and threes to avoid detention, but by noon, the crowd had swelled in its ranks, and the police had to requisition additional buses, even from private operators, to remove them. Women, shouting slogans of azaadi, were also seen being escorted in autorickshaws. It was only by 4.30 p.m. that people began to leave, but many vowed to return on Friday.

Many also alleged that they sustained injuries. Sithara H.M. of AIDSO said, “While we were detained by the police, some protesters were roughed up. As soon as we got into the bus we started shouting slogans such as ‘Inquilab Zindabad’, and ‘Revoke CAA. We were taken to the Upparpet police station and later we were allowed to go to K.R. Circle.”

One protester said that the police dropped his group off at Shantinagar when they got an alert on their walkie-talkies that more buses were required. “Immediately after we were released, we walked back to Town Hall,” said an activist.

Meanwhile, a large number of protesters gathered near S.J. Park Circle and started shouting ‘azaadi’, and holding placards demanding that the CAA be repealed.

Many voiced their anger against Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. At 1 p.m, hundreds of protesters started marching towards Town Hall, but the police stopped them near Canara Bank.

People also read out the Preamble to the Constitution and displayed placards with messages, such as ‘CAA and NRC are innovative forms of facism’, ‘Stop dividing country on religious lines’, ‘We are with Jamia students’, ‘Convicted politicians sit inside the parliament but protesting students are sent to jail’, among others.

Leo Saldanha, activist, said, “Imposing Section 144 for three days is unheard of in Bengaluru. On Wednesday, we had permission to protest, but at night the prohibitory orders were imposed. On Thursday, when people started gathering near the Town Hall, the police detained them and pushed them inside buses. We have filed a petition before the Karnataka High Court against the imposition of Section 144.”

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:14:45 AM |

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