January 4, 2020 2:36:38 pm
Citizens from Vadodara and members of the Public Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) were detained, on Friday, for organising a “silent protest” against the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Vadodara city police denying permissions to hold such rallies.
A total of 58 people were detained by the police. With their hands tied and mouths covered with a white cloth, 11 people had gathered at the Sardar Patel statue, Dairy Den Circle in Sayajigunj, to express their dissent against the citizenship law in a non-violent way.
The police, however, detained them and 47 others including students, activists and teachers gathered in the area to express their support. Videos of the detainees singing Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s “Hum Dekhenge” inside the police headquarters where all the detainees were taken, also emerged.
The detainees were later released in the evening.
“We had gathered there after we had received a message about a protest which was completely non-violent and non-provocative. We had made banners, but we never displayed them. We did not raise any kind of slogans and had just decided to stand there in solidarity, but we were detained. We did not know about whether or not any police permission was granted for the same,” one of the students said.
A member of the PUCL, Shaukat Indori confirmed that they went ahead with the protest despite the police not granting them any permission. “We had asked for permission and it was rejected. We had then informed the police that we are going ahead with the protest nonetheless. We wanted to express that we are being silenced and not allowed to even express our dissent.”
The police maintained that people were detained because no police permission was granted for any rally or demonstration. “Silent or not, no permission was granted for any kind of protest. A large number of people had gathered at the place and we had detained 58 people for protesting without a formal police permission. Further police procedures are underway,” said SG Solanki, police inspector at Sayajigunj police station.
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