Kerala witnesses huge rallies as opposition to CAA mounts

Mahal committees mobilise protesters against ‘anti-Muslim initiatives’ of the Union Government

December 20, 2019 11:52 pm | Updated December 21, 2019 08:09 am IST - KOCHI

A protest rally organised by the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama Wayanad district panel against the CAA and the NRC at Kalpetta in Wayanad district on Friday.

A protest rally organised by the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama Wayanad district panel against the CAA and the NRC at Kalpetta in Wayanad district on Friday.

Massive marches were taken out in various parts of the State on Friday in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens. Perumbavoor witnessed arguably its biggest ever mass mobilisation as over 35,000 people lined up for a protest rally. The march organised by the Kunnathunad Taluk Samyuktha Vedhi, a combine of all Muslim religious organisations in the taluk, started from the Asram Higher Secondary School ground after the evening prayer at 4 p.m.

“The march took over two hours to reach the finishing point at the Perumbavoor municipal stadium,” said an organiser. Traders downed shutters and private bus operators suspended services in support.

In his inaugural address, Benny Behanan, MP, asked what right the Sangh Parivar rulers had to question the patriotism of Indian Muslims. “The Central government is trying to gag the media covering the anti-CAA protests, which amounts to silencing the public. This should be resisted,” Mr. Behanan said.

Former minister T.H. Mustafa said that the anti-Muslim programmes of the Centre would be opposed at all costs.

The detention of Keralite journalists in Mangaluru triggered strong rebuke from the media fraternity. At a protest meeting under the aegis of Ernakulam Press Club, media observer Sebastian Paul said journalists were living in fear and what happened in Mangaluru could be replicated elsewhere.

In Idukki

Around 7,000 people participated in a rally organised by the Thodupuzha Taluk Imam Council at Thodupuzha town in Idukki district on Friday.

According to the organisers, members of 83 mahal committees attended the rally.

The meeting, raising the slogan ‘Save my India, Save my Constitution,’ had the support of 23 Muslim organisations. Dean Kuriakose, MP, told the gathering that he would raise their concerns in the Parliament.

Protest in Wayanad

A protest rally was taken out under the aegis of the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama Wayanad district coordination committee on Friday evening. Thousands of people took part. At a public meeting, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama leader K.T. Hamsa Musaliar said history never backed rulers who had divided people.

More than 10,000 people from 300 local mosque committee (mahal) under the Samastha took part in the rally. Various organizations too took out protest marches in towns including Meenangadi and Mananthavady. A few buses of the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation headed to Karnataka from Kerala were blocked by Youth Congress and Campus Front activists at Kalpetta and Mananthavady. Journalists took out a march in protest against the detention of Keralite journalists in Mangaluru.

Effigy burned

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) burned Union Home Minister Amit Shah in effigy here on Friday, protesting against the police firing on those who agitated against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Religious, political, and socio-cultural organisations in Kozhikode district protested against the CAA. There were mahal committees in the forefront of local protests urging the Union Government to revoke the Act.

The march organised by the mahal Coordination Committee in Koyilandy saw the participation of hundreds of religious leaders, shouting “Save our beloved nation”.

Members of the Ithihadu Shubbanil Mujahideen, the youth wing of Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, staged a walk-back protest alleging that the CAA would push India from brotherhood to communalism.

Press freedom

Condemning the detention of journalists in Mangaluru, the Congress and CPI(M) workers organised separate rallies. They said the Sangh Parivar forces were trying to curb the freedom of the press to cover up the rising protests against the CAA.

Meanwhile, the BJP leaders in the district alleged that the Left parties were unleashing frequent attacks on their party offices in the name of the anti-CAA agitations. They claimed that their office at Vadakara was pelted with stones by suspected CPI(M) activists on Thursday night.

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