Malappuram District Collector’s Facebook page, on Tuesday, had a request to those organising protests in the city. It reportedly asked protesters to avoid protesting at public spaces and instead choose open grounds. This, however, did not go down well with many. After receiving sharp criticisms on social media, Collector Jafer Malik took down the Facebook post, which was probably written with the intention to avoid any inconvenience to the public.
The Facebook post was put in the wake of continuing protests related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the district. According to the Times of India, a section of traders and bus operators shut down shops and stopped bus services to boycott a pro-CAA public meeting by the BJP at Tirur in Malappuram. Similarly, on Sunday, as part of a demonstration against CAA, the Fraternity Students Movement had blocked the airport in Karipur (Malappuram). In both instances, several bus passengers and those heading to the airport were reportedly put to inconvenience.
According to Media One, in his Facebook post, District Collector Jafar Malik reportedly said that people should stay away from conducting protests that will block the roads to airports and railway stations. “People should try to organise protests on grounds and avoid public spaces,” he reportedly wrote. The Collector had also said that strong action will be taken against those spreading messages that are communal in nature and that case will be registered against them under the IT Act.
This request, however, drew strong criticisms from many on social media. “Who will hear if you get into a closed room and call out ‘azaadi’? Are you following the Governor,” read one comment.
“This is a fight to stay in our motherland. A fight for our survival. This is not a protest that should be held on a barren ground with no people. We have listened to what you have said all this while, only this is left. Allow us, dear Collector; don’t try to scare us,” read another comment.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the Collector has also decided to call a meeting with various communal and political party leaders in the coming days.