While both protests were held peacefully, police were present in large numbers at both venues.

Protests held in Chennais Triplicane and Besant Nagar against CAAAnjana Shekar
news CAA Monday, December 23, 2019 - 08:15

Sunday saw protests in two different parts of Chennai. Over 1000 protesters had gathered in Triplicane area on Sunday afternoon while in Besant Nagar are, over 100 people had gathered to protest against the CAA.

The Triplicane procession began at 4.00 pm, proceeding from Walajah Mosque to the Police station in Triplicane. Over 200 police personnel were stationed to monitor the crowd that walked for about 100 kilometres chanting slogans.

The one in Besant Nagar also began at 4.00 pm and saw cultural performances. Members from The Casteless Collective, an indie music band from Chennai performed followed by performances by independent rappers. There was also the paraiattam (traditional instrument) in which performers played the parai to powerful slogans. 

One of the protestors who was present at Besant Nagar spoke to TNM explaining how the police had denied permission for the gathering and even changed the venue thrice, foiling their plans. Police were also present, recording the events of the evening as proof to later file FIRs against those who participated.

“Most protests in Chennai have been affiliated to some party. Most Chennai citizens felt that it was important to come together just as citizens. We formed Citizens For CAA. We applied for permission and at the very last minute we received a denial letter. We had already mobilised people and when the permission didn’t come through, young people were not willing to step back. They were willing to push back We wanted a safe space to protest. The protest came together organically,” said one of the protestors. 

This protest was initially scheduled to take place at Sholinganallur and following denial of permission was shifted to Elliots beach in Besant Nagar. When this too failed, it was finally held at the Besant Nagar bus depot, on the side of the road. 

The protestors were also informed that all those who were present would be booked. Following Thursday’s protest at Valluvar Kottam, over 600 citizens were booked by the Chennai police. “They are turning an ordinary citizen a criminal for merely peacefully asserting their rights,” she added. 

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