The Hyderabad police have booked Mushtaq Malik, the convenor of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) against Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), for violating the conditions laid down in the police permission, which was granted for a 'million march' in the city on Saturday.
Tens of thousands of people participated in the biggest ever protest against the CAA in Hyderabad on Saturday, as crowds from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and surrounding districts converged at Dharna Chowk and Tank Bund in the city. The meeting was organised by the JAC, comprising 40 Muslim and Dalit organisations.
Mushtaq Malik has been booked under sections 143 and 149 (unlawful assembly), besides 290 (public nuisance) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code besides relevant sections of the Hyderabad City Police Act.
While the police did not comment on the issue on record, TNM has learnt that the case was registered as the police permission was only granted for a gathering of 1,000 people.
“Multiple rallies were taken out without permission and traffic was thrown completely out of gear. Dharna Chowk can only handle around 500 to 600 people. This was a brazen violation of the police permission granted, even though the protest was completely peaceful,” a senior source in the police department told TNM.
Senior police officials also felt that if the organisers wanted to hold such a large meeting, they could have sought permission to hold the protest at a larger venue like the Saroornagar indoor stadium.
As photographs and videos were already circulating on social media, the police would now serve a notice to Mushtaq Malik, seeking an explanation.
Speaking to TNM, Mushtaq said, "It is an attempt to scare us, but we are not going to be scared. There are some political parties and the government who want to scuttle the movement, but the people themselves, from all walks of life, turned up for the meeting.
"What kind of democracy is it that limits the size of a gathering in this manner? In our application, we clearly asked for permission for a 'million march', and the police granted us permission for a dharna. We will definitely challenge the latest move by the police in court," he added.
The ‘million march’ refers to an attempt to recreate a massive gathering at Tank Bund that had taken place during the Telangana agitation for separate statehood.
The protest was originally planned in the last week of December, but the police had denied permission for the event. The JAC had approached the High Court, which asked the police to consider a fresh application by the organisers.
The march was a big success even though no mainstream political party was a part of it.