Candlelight vigil for CAA victims

Candlelight vigil for CAA victims

Citizens during a candlelight vigil for victims of police brutality in Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH PHOTO/PUSHKAR V

About 800 people gathered at Maurya Hotel Circle in the heart of Bengaluru on Tuesday evening for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the victims of police brutality during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). 

However, for a vigil which was partly mustered to condemn police violence, little was actually said against the police. Lawyer Clifton D'Rosario, an organiser, said the event was meant to be a quiet vigil with slogans limited to the placards, not for speeches. 

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On the face of it, the vigil appeared to be tempered by the release of the video footage by Mangaluru police showing protesters instigating acts of violence. Tanveer Ahmed, an organiser for Hum Bharat Ke Log, the campaign which has been responsible for helping set up many protests against the CAA, clarified that violence by protesters did not warrant extrajudicial killings by the police. 

"What should be done is to identify those protesters responsible for violence and have them booked. The answer is not to use deadly force against them," Ahmed said. 

Many of the printed placards at the vigil made scant mention of police actions, instead focused on the contentious CAA and the NRC, secularism and women's rights. 

At least one sign also condemned the media. Holding this was Ashok, 28, a techie, who said that the country had been betrayed by the mainstream media, which he accused of siding with the Union government. 

Another protester, Alishah, 30, who held a sign saying secularism was under threat, specified that her profession as a job consultant had constantly shown her the precarious nature of the economy. 

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