Washermenpet area of North Chennai, one of the quiet and restrained suburbs of the city, has now become the site to shape and cement the city to be another Shaheen Bagh as nearly thousands of men and women of the Muslim community in Washermenpet have been rolling out the intense agitation since last Saturday against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR).
While the city had been celebrating Valentine's day, the people living in Washermenpet had staged protests against the CAA, NRC, and NPR and the demonstrations had hit the spotlight when the protests had turned into violence and the police clampdown and lathi-charge had instigated the upheaval against the police action across the state. The protesters claimed that they had protested peacefully and the police personnel had allegedly unleashed the crackdown. By justifying the police action, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said that the protests in Washermenpet have been stimulated by the opposition parties and some of the outfits.
Amid the ongoing protests, we have acquired the reports and developments from ground zero. Our sources said that the protesters had planned to gather more people for the agitation and in the morning hours of February 14th, the police personnel had stationed the forces to detain the protesters and despite the police presence, the protesters had assembled hundreds of women to add power for the agitation. By defying the warnings from the police to disperse, the protesters had raised slogans against the CAA as similar to Shaheen Bagh protests in Delhi.
Our sources reveal that the slogans of 'Azaadi Modi se Azaadi' (Freedom from Modi) had quaked the governments as the agitation got intensified. The slogan against Modi had reached the attention of Amit Shah's Central Home Ministry before it could reach out to the state government. After understanding that the agitation is getting against Modi, our sources say that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has called directly to Tamil Nadu DGP Tripathy and the police officials of North Chennai stated that after Amit Shah contacted Tripathy, the police personnel on the spot had tightened their grip against the protesters. Our sources highlighted that Amit Shah has also called Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and expressed his repentance on the rise of Shaheen Bagh in Chennai.
The sources say that DGP Tripathy has met Chief Minister last Friday and shared the expression of Amit Shah after which they issued orders to Viswanathan, Chennai police commissioner to control the protests. With accord to the orders from the Center and the state, the commissioner had deployed dozens of high-level officials - including joint commissioners and assistant commissioners to Washermenpet to hold talks with the protesters. The sources have stated that these top-ranking officials had ordered the protesters to disperse. However, the protesters had refused to consider the order following which they rolled out the mechanisms to evacuate about 30 people from the spot. Their crackdown against the protesters had turned the slogans against Edappadi Palaniswami. The protesters who voiced for Freedom from Modi had now appealed for the freedom from EPS.
When we asked Shehawaz Bhanu about the police action, she told that they had demonstrated peacefully and Deputy Commissioner of Washermenpet Subbulakshmi started to attack the protesters after the directive from the joint commissioner of the city and she reportedly tore up the Hijab wore by the Muslim women and while we inquired Shamma, the other woman who took part in the protests, she said that the protesters refused to get dispersed from the spot after which Deputy commissioner Kapilkumar had avowed to beat the protesters and upon his order, the police force had unleashed lathi-charge against the people. The police crackdown had lasted for more than an hour and after the protests had turned into violence, the Chennai police commissioner held talks with the Muslim communities in the area and the talks were held at Washermenpet police station.
The police clampdown had spurred up the protests across the state and thousands from Chennai had marched towards Washermenpet and along with voicing against CAA, the protesters had agitated against ADMK and BJP and the violence had brought more political leaders to the protesting site. Some of the leaders include Naam Tamilar Chief Seeman, DMK MPs Dayanidhi Maran, and Kalanithi Veerasamy. Washermenpet has been hosting intense protests against the CAA for the sixth straight day and one among the protesters told that the protests will continue till the Center revoke the CAA, NRC, and NPR and the protests will originate many Shaheen Baghs across India.