Amidst large-scale protests across India against the Citizenship Amendment Act, several right-wing groups held a protest in support of the CAA on Sunday in Bengaluru.
Around 500 people had gathered at Bengaluru’s Town Hall at 10 am and began shouting slogans supporting the CAA. Supporters and members of the Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti, the group whose members have been accused of killing journalist Gauri Lankesh, were also present at the protest.
People held placards stating “We support CAA” and began chanting “Modi, Modi, Modi…”
“We want CAA, we want CAA” was the primary slogan heard.
The police had given permission to organisers of this protest to conduct the event.
The pro-CAA protest comes in the wake of BJP National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav announcing that the BJP would begin a campaign to rally for the CAA. Yadav’s announcement came after thousands of students and citizens came out to protest against the CAA since December 15.
No permission for anti-CAA protest
Even as the pro-CAA protest was conducted in Bengaluru, the police refused to grant permission for the ‘sathyagraha’ against the CAA, which was slated to be held at the Quddus Saheb Edigah located in Bengaluru’s Benson Town.
Speaking to TNM, Vinay Sreenivasa from Alternative Law Forum said that the organisers had obtained permission from the Chairperson and Managing Committee of the Jumma Masjid Trust Board to hold the sathyagraha within the grounds but they were not allowed to hold the event.
“The place we had chosen to hold the sathyagraha is private property. Yet, the Bharatinagar Police refused to let us conduct the event stating that we had to obtain police permission of the gathering. Section 144 has been lifted in Bengaluru, and yet they are not allowing a gathering on private property? Police permission is required only if protests are taking place on public property,” Vinay Sreenivasa said.
Why the pro-CAA protest was held
Over the past week, protests have been organised against the controversial Act. The protests, which initially started in Assam, spread to New Delhi, where students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University staged massive protests against the CAA.
The students stated that the law is discriminatory against certain communities, while it gives preference to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Zoroastrians. Although the amendment is meant for citizenship to immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the protesters say that it sets a precedent for rolling out discriminatory laws in the future, which may affect the minorities in the country.
As the protests grew larger, the government, unwilling to roll back the law, decided to conduct a campaign to “educate people” about the CAA. “The BJP has decided to conduct a 10-day campaign to educate 3 crore people in the country about the misconceptions regarding CAA,” BJP National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview with Times Now, on Saturday said that there was no question of rolling back the CAA.