Chennai: Despite denial of permission by the police, DMK’s rally against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was held here today. Though untoward incidents were not reported, traffic was badly hit in some of the arterial roads of the city. Senior DMK leaders and leaders of its alliance parties took part in the rally which was held from Thalamuthu Natarajan Maaligai to Rajarathinam Stadium.
The rally was closely monitored by the police, who used drones as per the directive of the Madras High Court. More than 100 cameras and four drones were used to videograph the rally, police sources said. Speaking to the cadres at the end of the rally, DMK president M K Stalin said that protests against the CAA will continue. “I bow my head for making the rally a success. We must not stop till the Centre withdraws the CAA. A massive protest against the BJP-led government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be announced after consultation with alliance partners,” he added.
Stalin also asked why Muslims were not considered as refugees and Sri Lanka was not categorised as neighbours under the CAA. Former Union Minister and Senior Congress leader P Chidmabaram, DMK Lok Sabha Member Kanimozhi, TNCC president K S Alagiri, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan also participated in the rally and shouted slogans denouncing the Centre for enacting the CAA and the ruling AIADMK in the State for voting in favour of it in the Rajya Sabha.
They also demanded the resignation of the AIADMK government for supporting it and blamed the BJP for the violence in several parts of the country against the CAA. Traffic snarls were reported in several stretches during the time of the rally. Vehicles were not permitted in the Gandhi Irwin Road, Egmore-Poonamallee Road, Chennai Central and Aadhithanar Road.
The protest took place today after the Madras High Court did not issue an stay order for the rally. During an urgent hearing of petitions filed against the rally last night, the court said protests cannot be stopped in a democratic country but there should not be violence. The court asked the political parties to follow rules during the protest.
The rally was announced by Stalin last week after holding a meeting with DMK’s alliance partners. The Tamilnadu government’s counsel contended that police have denied permission for the rally as there was no firm commitment from the organisers on owning responsibility in case of any violence and damage to property.