The massive protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), organised by Mysuru United Muslim Welfare Trust, on Rangacharlu Town Hall premises, was completely peaceful, even though over 15,000 people assembled there from all parts of the city.
Nasim, a moulvi, said, “CAA, NRC and NPR are interconnected and target Muslims. If they ask for proof of our parents, grand parents, and great grand parents, we have to dig their graves and bring them before the authorities concerned.”
Dr Masood said, “We are not here to fight for our rights, but to discharge our duty to protect the secular fabric of our Constitution. As poet Kuvempu wrote: Sarwa janagada shanthiya thota (meaning, garden of all faiths), India is a beautiful place of diversity. However, the present dispensation is trying to damage it.”
President of the trust Syed Tajuddin said, “The protest is not against any faith or for any faith, but for humanity. Do not hurt anybody. Do not speak anything ill about anybody. This is an apolitical protest, to which a few parties and organisations have extended their support. The protests would continue until the CAA is withdrawn.”
The protest started at the scheduled time of 11 am, with thousands people coming together on the premises of Rangacharlu Town Hall. People arrived from all parts of the city and entered the premises from all three gates. The agitators spilled over the roads around the Town Hall, due to lack of space.
The agitators were holding national flags and wore black bands on their arms. They were encouraged to shout slogans like ‘Inquilab Zindabad’, ‘Hindustan Zindabad’, ‘CAA Murdabad’ and ‘NRC Murdabad’. Cries for various ‘Azadis’ rent the air. There were frequent appeals by the leaders to cooperate with the police and to be courteous to the people and not to cover the face. Most of the speech was in Urdu.
Congress leaders like city president R Murthy, ex-MLA M K Somasekhar, ex-mayors R G Narasimha Iyengar, Purushotham and Narayan, JD(S) leaders like ex-mayor M J Ravi Kumar, Dalit leaders like K Deepak, Marimadaiah and H Janardhan, activist Pa Mallesh and writer T Gururaj were present.
The Police department had made elaborate security arrangements and maintained order and peace. A few roads connecting the Town Hall was blocked to restrict vehicular movement.
Shops and business establishments on the roads surrounding the Town Hall and also on the roads on which the agitators marched towards the Town Hall like Sawday Road, Ashoka Road were closed till afternoon.
A few minutes of silence was maintained during the ‘Aazan’ from a nearby mosque at 1.15 pm. The formal stage function started with the National Anthem.