On Wednesday night, a section of students of the Madras University who were staging a protest against the amended citizenship law inside the varsity's campus was "brought outside" by the police. About 17 students were taken to the nearest Triplicane police station on Wednesday night and were then let off after signing their names at the station.
About 17 Madras University students protesting CAA were detained on Wednesday night and let were off later after signing their names @thenewsminute #Chennai #CitizenshipAmendmentBill pic.twitter.com/LcvaB8nGnEâ€” Anjana Shekar (@AnjanaShekar) December 19, 2019
The protesting students are seeking withdrawal of the CAA. They are also protesting the police action on students of the Jamia Milia University in Delhi and opposing the proposed nationwide NRC.
The students were protesting against the law since Monday and had said they were determined to pursue their agitation further. Meanwhile, the University of Madras has declared holidays till December 23. Earlier, the varsity had declared holidays between December 24 to January 1 owing to Christmas and the New Year.
Late on Tuesday night, two Madras University students who were picked up earlier for questioning over allegedly inciting students of affiliated colleges to join the stir at the varsity's Marina campus were sent back.
A posse of police personnel was posted in the periphery of all institutions where protests were held in the State and the gates were closed to ensure protesters do not go over to the roads. Also, police deployment continued to be on at the Marina, the main campus of the Madras varsity. Police said their presence was for the "safety of the students."
Students of various colleges, including the New College in Chennai and another in Tiruchirappalli, staged protests in their campuses. Besides, a section of students held a protest on the state-run Bharathiyar varsity campus in Coimbatore and was removed from the premises in view of the convocation in which Governor Banwarilal Purohit took part, police said.
Also, students of a private college and a group of lawyers belonging to the All India Lawyers Union and the People's Union of Civil Liberties staged a demonstration near the Coimbatore district complex.
Earlier in the day, actor-politician Kamal Haasan visited the protesting students of Madras University to express his solidarity. He spoke to them from behind the main gate since he was not allowed to enter. "They did not allow me inside," the actor had told reporters, adding he visited the varsity to be the "defender" of students.
Kamal demanded withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as it was "autocratic" and "draconian." Since the Madras University has declared a holiday, scores of hostel students at its Taramani campus have been left without food since the kitchens, too, were shut, he claimed.
On Wednesday, an ally of the DMK, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi held a "siege Chief Minister K Palaniswami's residence" protest in Chennai, saying the CAA was against the Constitution and passed with an intent to divide the nation on "communal, linguistic" lines.
(With agency inputs)