One month after the brutal killing of two Muslims by the police, over one lakh people convened at Adyar Kannur in Mangaluru on Wednesday in a massive protest against the divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The protest gathering was organized by Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Muslim Central Committee, an umbrella body of Muslim organisations in Karnataka and ‘We The People’, a collective of CAA protests across the country.
The Udupi district Khazi and senior Islamic scholar Alhaj Bekal Ibrahim Musliyar inaugurated the public gathering.
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“The government is trying to instil fear in civil society and people will be scared to a certain extent, but eventually citizens will take to the streets. Amit Shah said he will not step back an inch on CAA but he is saying that after going two kilometres back,” former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan said while speaking at the event.
“This is not just a Muslim protest. A Hindu Rashtra is not just against Muslims in the country but also against Dalits and women. Unemployment and onion prices are at an all-time high. When the situation is like this, the government is asking you to identify yourself and not ask questions,” human rights activist Shivasundar said while speaking at the protest.
Muslim leaders called for a judicial probe into the police killings while addressing the protesters. They demanded a judicial inquiry into deaths.
Anti Citizenship Act (CAA) demonstrators across India are carrying out peaceful protests as anger swells against the highly sectarian and anti-Constitutional Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The BJP-ruled Karnataka government had clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Mangaluru and other parts of the state, to prevent protests against the act. However, on December 19, hundreds of protestors gathered at various parts of Mangaluru defying the ban to protest against CAA.
Videos from the protests area showed police personnel firing at the protestors and using tear gas and brute force to disperse the crowd. Two people, Jaleel Kudroli (42) and Nausheen Bengre (23) were killed in the police firing.
42-year-old Jaleel Kudroli, a father of two and a daily wage earner had stepped out of his house to offer namaz (prayers) on December 19, when a police bullet hit his head. According to a fact-finding report released by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) All India People’s Forum (AIPF) and National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), there was no mob present, yet tear gas and bullets were being fired into the road, by the police.
In another incident, 23-year old Nausheen Bengre who was attempting to return home from the workshop he was working at, fell prey to the firing when a bullet hit him in his midriff.