Widespread protests against CAA in Kozhikode

Protesters express solidarity with Jamia Millia University students

Published - December 16, 2019 11:49 pm IST - Kozhikode

Kozhikode city on Monday witnessed a number of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act with people from various walks of life hitting the street to oppose what they called a discriminatory legislation. There were protests against previous night’s police action on the Jamia Millia campus in the national capital night too.

Various organisations held simultaneous protest meetings at the Kidson Corner at Mananchira while others marched to the heart of the town demanding that the Centre revoke the Act. The ‘day-night march’ taken out by the Muslim Youth League from Pookkottur in Malappuram district culminated at the Kozhikode beach in the evening.

The Samastha Kerala Sunni Students’ Federation (SKSSF), a students’ group owing allegiance to the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema, took out a march to the Kozhikode Railway Station in the morning, expressing solidarity with the Jamia students. SKSSF leaders pointed out that the Union government was denying the basic constitutional rights to the people and dividing people on the lines of religion. SKSSF Kozhikode district president Syed Mubashir Thangal Jamalullaili was present.

Hundreds of students participated in a ‘Long March’ organised by the Kozhikode district committee of the Students Federation of India (SFI), from Government Polytechnic, West Hill, to Mananchira, in the afternoon. They carried placards opposing the alleged attempt to “convert India into a Hindu Rashtra” throughout the five-km stretch. Opening the protest, P.A. Mohamed Riyas, national president, Democratic Youth Federation of India, said that divisive politics was being practised in the country and those who question was being tortured. Mr. Riyas said that the hartal called by certain organisations on Tuesday would only help the Sangh Parivar. United efforts such as the one staged in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday was the only way out, he added. SFI State secretary K.M. Sachindev was present.

The Kerala Pradesh School Teachers' Association, affiliated to the Congress (I) and the Kerala Mahila Federation, the women's wing of the Communist Marxist Party, were the first to hold protests meetings at Kidson Corner. While District Congress Committee president T. Siddique opened the first one, CMP State secretariat member G. Narayanan Kutty opened the second one. Different independent groups without any particular banner assembled at the SK Square at the same time with placards and banners raising slogans against the CAA. These included radical activists, college students, and autorikshaw drivers. Several marches were taken out around the Mananchira Square and culminated at the Kidson Corner. By around 6 p.m., a large crowd under various banners had assembled at the S.K. Square, voicing the same concerns in different ways.

Opening the valedictory of the ‘day-night march’, Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal, Indian Union Muslim League leader, said CAA was a divisive legislation. The protest was aimed at protecting the Constitution of the country and secular principles guiding it, he added.

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