Scores of young people descended onto the streets of Kozhikode city on Thursday in protest of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. Protests against the Act have raged across the country in recent weeks. The protest in Kerala was organised by ‘Art Attack,’ a group of artists in the city.
Protesters gathered at Mananchira Square in Kozhikode and marched towards the beach. Hundreds from the student community took part in the march, including Aysha Renna, the Jamia Millia Islamia University student who was recorded taking on the Delhi police in a viral video. As per reports, cine artists of the Malayalam film industry and writers also protested.
As part of the protest, several artists created symbolic tableaus as statements against CAA and the National Register of Citizens. To symbolise the much-maligned exclusion of Islam from the CAA and an alleged attack on Muslims, some protesters carried dummies depicting 50 dead bodies of Muslim persons. Another group of protesters dressed as inmates at detention centres.
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides a path to citizenship for refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh for religions including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsi and Jain, but not Islam.
“Until the Modi government scraps CAA, we will continue with our protests,” Aysha told News18.
Several protests have taken place across Kerala against CAA and the NRC. Art Attack’s protest also raised slogans against various other issues in the country, including demands to repeal the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and to free Alan Suhaib and Thaha Fazal, the students who have been booked under UAPA for allegedly distributing pro-Maoist posters.
According to reports, the march ended at the beach, where protesters created a make-shift jail using barricades.