On a day the nation erupted in widespread protests against the newly amended Citizenship Act and impending pan-India National Register of Citizens (NCR), scores of protesters in Hyderabad were taken into preventive custody by police as the city witnessed multiple protests. However, there were no incidents of violence reported.
A protest rally from Exhibition Ground to Public Garden, called by the Left parties, was denied permission by the police. Hyderabad police had deployed a large number of forces to prevent the protest. Follow Citizenship Act protests LIVE Updates
“Roughly 300 persons were detained. It was all peaceful,” police commissioner Anjani Kumar told indianexpress.com
Taking note of massive protests in the city, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) supremo Asaduddin Owaisi called for a public meeting on December 21 against the new citizenship law at party headquarters.
Around 73 students from the University of Hyderabad were detained in the bus itself as they proceeded towards Exhibition Ground to join the protest and were taken to Moinabad police station on the city outskirts in the morning. However, the students squatted outside the police station and resumed their protest. Thereafter, they also set fire to an effigy of Home Minister Amit Shah.
At Charminar, at least 43 persons, including 19 women, were detained by the police as they gathered to stage a protest and proceed to the Exhibition Ground. A large number of people were detained near the Moazamjahi market on the way to the protest venue.
However, after the afternoon prayers, several people staged a protest at the Mecca Masjid premises holding placards. The students and teachers of Anwar-ul-Uloom college in the city also staged a massive protest holding placards and the national flag. They called out to repeal the CAA and said will not retreat on their protest.
“We are Indians, we were and we will be Indians. We do not want NRC. We have spent our lives here and we are not ready to go anywhere,” said one of the protesters.
Prior to the proposed protest at the Exhibition Ground, around 1,000 to 1,500 people gathered at People’s Plaza near Hussainsagar lake by 3.30 pm, following a protest call by ‘Citizens against NRC and CAA’.
“In principle, you are putting everyone in a doubtful situation and they have to prove their citizenship. This is nothing but injustice if it is happening based on religion,” said Kiran Vissa, activist and one of the organisers of the protest.
Prof G Haragopal, a well-known human rights activist, said: “The CM, like West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, should have taken the protests against CAA and NRC to the masses as his party opposed the bill. This shows double standards.”
The gathering, which saw participation from students, human rights activists, women’s organisations, Dalit organisations, and Muslim organisations, concluded after Muslim protestors offered prayers at the venue.