Fiery speech proves student activist Amulya’s undoing

Fiery speech proves student activist Amulya Leona’s undoing

Police officers yank activist Amulya Leona Noronha off the stage at an anti-CAA event on Thursday. DH photo/Anup Ragh T

Ever since the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) began, Amulya Leona Noronha, the 19-year-old firebrand student activist, showed that she could go toe-to-toe with the biggest names in the city’s anti-CAA movement.

Known for her fiery speeches and ability to hold audiences in thrall, there appeared to be no end to the student of journalism’s meteoric rise in activist circles. That rise appeared to come to an end on Thursday night, following Leona’s controversial ‘Long Live Pakistan’ sloganeering.

Originally from Koppa in Chikkamagaluru district, Leona, a sophomoric student at a prominent college in Jayanagar, first began to gain attention within anti-CAA circles in December 2019. Using a bevvy of social media platforms, including the hookup app, Tinder, she began to mobilise support for the near-daily rallies sprouting up in various parts of the city.

By the end of January, she was nearly a household name among protesters and was known for unexpectedly showing up at various rally sites, where she was quickly handed the mic and allowed to speak.

Police surveillance

Her boundless energy seemed outshone only by her conviction that her cause was right. However, at times, her endeavours appeared to exhaust her. She once complained to this reporter that she was being surveilled by the police and that her Facebook account was being blocked.

In the end, her desire to compose provocative speeches appeared to be her undoing. In a Facebook post, dated February 16, she declared that she was prepared to say “long live for all countries,” including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“Zindabad to everyone who serves the people. I don’t become a part of a different nation just because I say Zindabad to that nation,” the Facebook post reads.

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