Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a human chain from the northern end of Kerala to the southern end, lakhs of people observed the Republic Day on Sunday with a pledge to protect the Constitution.
The 621-km-long human chain along the national highway was organised by the ruling Left Democratic Front as part of the ongoing protests against the new citizenship law.
For the first time, several mosques joined the Republic Day celebrations by hoisting the tricolour and reading out the Preamble of the Constitution following a direction by the Kerala State Wakf Board to observe Republic Day.
The Latin Catholic Church, whose followers mainly comprise people from the fishermen community in Kerala, too, joined the celebrations. The national flag was hoisted, the Preamble was read out and people pledged to protect the Constitution at several churches, Also, priests spoke about the importance of upholding Constitutional values.
According to LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan, 70 lakh people cutting across political lines joined the human chain.
CPM politburo members M A Baby and S Ramachandran Pillai were at the ends of the chain at Kaliyikkavila in the south and Manjeswar in the north, respectively. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues, leaders of LDF, cultural activists, social workers, Muslim scholars, clerics, priests and nuns and lakhs of common people joined the chain. Around 250 meetings were held before the people dispersed.
Addressing the human chain in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, the chief minister said the protest would continue till the CAA is scrapped. “No rest until the law is abolished. The protest would be intensified. The whole world is against this barbaric law which decides citizenship on the basis of religion,’’ said Vijayan.
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