The Muslim communities across the nation have been carpeting intense agitations against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that was enacted by the Central ruling BJP party. The protests have been paralyzing the nation's capital Delhi where thousands of people including women and children have camped their agitation in Shaheen Bagh for the past sixty days. The unprecedented protests in Shaheen Bagh had its veins across the nation including Chennai.
Washermenpet area in Chennai has been playing a vital role in turning the city to become another Shaheen Bagh as the Muslim men and women have been staging the protests nearly for ten days now against the CAA. On February 14th, the demonstrations carried out by the Muslim communities in Lalakunda, Washmerpet had turned into violence after the protesters and police personnel clashed each other that caused a melee and a crackdown. Since Feb 14th, Chennai and some parts of the state have been witnessing protests against the CAA and the police crackdown on the protesters.
Our sources close to the development say that after being learned that the opposition parties would storm against the government on the police action against the protesters, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had chaired the high-level meeting with Director General of Police Tripathy, Home Secretary Prabhakar, Intelligence Chief Sathyamoorthy, and Chennai police commissioner Viswanathan. Palaniswami had inquired about the police action on February 14th with the Chennai commissioner after which he directed the commissioner to hold talks with Muslim political leaders and communities. With accord the direction, Viswanathan had convened a meeting with Muslim parties like Indian Union Muslim League, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Popular Front of India, and Jamat Islamic.
The sources stated that in that meeting, the Chennai commissioner said that the police had been consenting the Muslim groups to protest and police personnel hasn't caused any hindrance and difficulties to the Muslim communities. Commissioner stated that on February 14th, the protesters had thrown stones against the police and the police had barricaded them when they get advanced with the protests by removing the blockades installed by the law enforcement agency. He appealed to the Muslim leaders to understand the action taken by the police. While responding to the comments made by the police commissioner, our sources say that the Muslim leaders in the meeting had unanimously pressed and iterated their concerns.
When we asked about the meeting with Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader Jawahirullah, he said that citizenship is the only right the people have and the Central government's attempt to nullify their rights through CAA had threatened them. Their protests are legitimate as everyone knew what has happened in Assam and Home Minister Amit Shah is trying to implement the act across India that had pushed the people to protest and to stand against the act.
Jawahirullah has asked the commissioner on why the police refused to grant the permission in Chennai to stage the protest while the rest of India has nearly 300 sites that are protesting against the CAA, NRC, and NPR. He further stated that if the police had given a place for protesting, the violence at the Washermenpet could have been prevented and slashed the commissioner for turning the protests into riots. The Muslim communities have stated that the ball currently lies on the state government's court to end the protests. The leaders further conveyed to the commissioner that the protests can only be lowered after the state government adopts the anti-CAA resolution and pledges to revoke the implementation of NPR in the state like how seven Indian states had adopted the resolution against the CAA.
The sources say that the commissioner had concluded the meeting by stating that he would take their sentiments and concerns to the Chief Minister. Our sources stated that during the high-level meeting between Edappadi Palaniswami and top police officials of the state, Chief Minister said that the act has been passed by the Parliament and Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had asserted that the act can't be revoked. Palaniswami stated that the party is in the position of not able to oppose the act since it voted in favor of the bill in the Parliament.
Edappadi Palaniswami has further stated that the government has approached the Center to disclose clarity about the act. By citing that the opposition DMK party has been eyeing to protest against his government, the Chief Minister directed the top police officials to ensure that the law and order remain stable and it won't get damaged. The sources close to the Intelligence department stated that it has tabled the detailed report about the protests to the Chief Minister which he read out in the assembly.
Our sources reveal that Edappadi Palaniswami has shown no signal of opposing the CAA and the protests by the Muslim communities are getting severe. Recently, Delhi has asked the Chief Minister to deploy the mechanisms to ban the protests and the same has been passed to the senior police officials.