Students in Bengaluru who turned up at the protest organised against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were in for a rude shock on Tuesday when police officials detained eleven of them from the Puttana Chetty Town Hall, the site of the protest.
The flashpoint between students and police officials occurred at around 12 pm near Town Hall. Three students studying in a prominent college in central Bengaluru were detained by police officials as soon as they reached the protest site.
"The police took us away in a car and also confiscated our phones so we could not contact our parents or lawyers. We repeatedly asked the police if we could make a call but we were denied permission until more students were detained," one of the students told TNM after they were released.
Soon after, at around 12:15 pm, a group of four students from various colleges in Bengaluru were seen embroiled in a discussion with KS Tanveer Ahmed, the inspector of the jurisdictional SJ Park Police Station.
Following a heated discussion about the denial of permission to hold the protest in Town Hall, Tanveer urged the students to leave the protest site. When the students continued to resist, police officials detained four students.
Another video of students detained near Town Hall in Bengaluru. Protest against CAA by students was denied permission, police say. pic.twitter.com/UmW59qZvOuâ€” Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) December 17, 2019
Subsequently, five more students were detained by the police taking the total number of students detained to 11.
Police officials told TNM that the students were detained since they did not have permission for the protest at Town Hall. A separate protest was taking place at the time by members of the Hadapada community, a sub-sect of the Lingayat community who are originally from Karnataka.
"We detained the students because they did not have permission for the protest. They were denied permission yesterday and we took 11 students into preventive custody," KS Tanveer Ahmed said. The students were released around 3 pm.
All students detained during CAA protests in Bengaluru will be released shortly. Students were detained after police denied permission for a protest at Town Hall at 12 pm. pic.twitter.com/MQwFduq6Mjâ€” Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) December 17, 2019
The organisers of the protest then decided to march from Kanteerava Stadium to Freedom Park instead of gathering at Town Hall. Students and working professionals chanted slogans and held up placards criticising the central government's decision to enact the CAA. One placard read, "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty," quoting the phrase popularised by former American president Thomas Jefferson
The students also protested against the police action on students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University on Sunday. "We are here to highlight the unfair CAA which seeks to exclude Muslims. We are also here to protest the events in Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University on Sunday".
At least four of the released students rejoined the protest at Freedom Park.
"I think the students should also know to fight injustice. They are in college to study but they can't be blind to injustice as that is not what education is about," Sukanya Sreenivas, the mother of one of the students said.
The protests on Tuesday were the third consecutive day of protests in Bengaluru against CAA. The protest was organised by a collective of students studying in colleges in Bengaluru.