CAA: IIM students, faculty launch continuous vigil

CAA: IIM students, faculty launch continuous vigil

Protesters display placards and raise slogans during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizenship and National Population Register near Mysore Bank Circle on Monday. DH photo/Janardhan B K

Nearly 60 students and faculty of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) have started a continuous three-day vigil against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The vigil, mounted across the main gate of the institute, intends to register dissent against the CAA, NRC, and NPR, protesters said.

“We believe the founding principles of our republic are under attack, and it is the solemn duty of every citizen to resist. Taken together, the CAA-NPR-NRC troika has spread sectarian and communal poison across the country,” a statement by the protesters said.

The vigil, which started at 6.30 pm on Saturday, is set to run continuously night and day for 72 hours until 6.30 pm on Wednesday.

A professor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the vigil was galvanised by the certainty that these three regulations would lead the population down to a perilous future, where the country’s secular nature would be hollowed out. 

“This is the first step in a long march to expunge those whom the rulers of modern, independent India autocratically deem to be unfit of the aegis of her citizenship. We do not do this for others, for they shall pass. We do not do this for ourselves, for we do not matter. We do this because it is the right thing to do,” the professor said.

While the director of the institute, Professor Raghuram, was unavailable to comment as he was travelling, a spokesperson said the institute was taking a non-aligned view on the vigil.

“The institute neither encourages nor discourages the vigil. People are free to participate in the vigil in their capacity,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday evening, when DH visited the location of the vigil, they found only four individuals safeguarding the lamp. Another faculty member, who helped organise the protest, explained that they were maintaining the vigil lamplight in batches.

“Police only gave us permission to post four people at a time for the vigil, and we are adhering to their instructions,” the faculty member said.

Bike rally to planned detention centre stalled

A bike rally from Mysore Bank Circle to the site of the upcoming foreigners' detention centre in Nelamangala taluk hit a dead end after the police denied permission to the ride.

Tanveer Ahmed of the anti-CAA campaign Hum Bharat Ke Log said hundreds of people had committed to the rally. However, while the police refused permission to the motorcyclists, they did allow a smaller group of 25 people from the Anti-Fascists People’s Forum (AFPF) to proceed with sloganeering, as they had obtained permission to gather at the circle for two-hours.

At 12.30 pm, however, as the police began to blow whistles to disperse the gathering, an argument ensued between the AFPF and several unaffiliated students who had joined the group. Several students wanted to continue the protest in defiance of the police.

Balan M L, an advocate with the AFPF, said the police were prepared to detain an agitator, but released him following his intervention.

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