Tamil Nadu

HC restrains anti-CAA protesters from laying siege to Secretariat

Court grants interim injunction against federation of Islamic and political bodies

The Madras High Court on Tuesday restrained the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations from laying siege to the Secretariat to demand that the Assembly pass a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha granted the interim injunction till March 11 on a public interest litigation petition filed by one R. Varaaki, seeking to restrain the federation and allied organisations, including the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, the Popular Front of India and the India Thowheed Jamaath, from laying siege to the Secretariat.

The court passed the orders after taking up the case on a priority basis after senior counsel N.L. Rajah, representing the petitioner, informed the court that the federation had distributed pamphlets and issued an invite to the media, stating that its members had decided to lay siege to the Secretariat as well as the Collectorates in all the districts on Wednesday.

On their part, Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal, State Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayan and Additional Government Pleader R. Vijay Kumar told the court that the police will not allow anyone to lay siege to the Secretariat and that preventive measures will be put in place to prohibit any such move. “This cannot be permitted at all. The city police has earmarked 13 places, such as Chepauk, Valluvar Kottam and Chintadripet, as protest sites. If law permits, we will grant them permission for staging protests at those site(s) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Even for that, they have to make an application at least five days in advance,” the AAG told the court.

However, in his affidavit, the petitioner, who claimed to be a journalist, stated that the police had been very soft on the anti-CAA protesters and had allowed them to squat in public places, preventing free movement of vehicles and pedestrians. He said such soft-pedalling had also led to pro-CAA protests in various parts of the city.

Accusing political leaders of inciting college students to join the anti-CAA agitation, the petitioner said: “The leaders are brainwashing the student community to muster support for their unlawful agitations. Unfortunately, the students too have fallen prey to these organisations by extending their support inside educational institutions.” He referred to DMK Member of Parliament S. Senthil Kumar having recently apologised after tweeting a photograph of a body and wrongly claiming that it was that of an anti-CAA protester. “When a responsible people’s representative is behaving like this, we can imagine how the vested interests are fomenting trouble,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 8:59:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-restrains-anti-caa-protesters-from-laying-siege-to-secretariat/article30855240.ece

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