Thousands of Muslims marched for a short distance in Chennai on Wednesday to hold a protest against the center’s policies on citizenship law despite the police declining permission. The crowd numbering at least 15,000, according to the police, walked towards the Secretariat and the District Collector’s office.
The Madras High Court had asked the protesters not to march to the Tamil Nadu assembly but the protesters said they were on a peaceful protest and wouldn’t go towards the assembly building.
Several Muslim groups that were leading the protest have said the high court order does not apply to them as they were not made respondents to the case.
However, the protesters are supported by the ruling AIADMK against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, which fast-tracks the process of giving citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries. The AIADMK says the CAA doesn’t affect Indian citizens.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami, an ally of the BJP, has appealed to the protesters to maintain “communal harmony”. “The Tamil Nadu government will not allow any move that is against Muslims,” the Chief Minister said.
Thousands of policemen kept an eye on the protesters at Chepauk in the southern city. They have appealed to people against posting “provocative” messages on social media.
A few days ago, Chief Minister E Palaniswami appealed to Muslims to cooperate for communal amity.