On Wednesday, a large number of protesters, mainly from the Muslim community began marching towards the State Secretariat, or the seat of government, located in the Chepauk area of Chennai, defying the orders of the top court in the state.
The High Court of Madras had restrained an umbrella organization of Muslim outfits from its proposed agitation demanding a resolution by the state legislature, which is in session, rejecting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted by the federal government in December 2019.
They also want the state government to take a stand against the ongoing headcount of citizens through the National Population Register (NPR) and the suggested National Register of Citizens, aimed at weeding out illegal immigrants in the country.
Videos and pictures of the massive march in Chennai have made it to social media.
Massive turn up of people for #CAA_NRC_Protests in Chennai. Protest March happening despite the court restraining order and police denying permission. Protesters demand the state govt to pass resolution against #CAA2020. pic.twitter.com/NmSoaTUAT3— Mugilan Chandrakumar (@Mugilan__C) February 19, 2020
#WATCH Chennai: People sing National Anthem during the march towards the State Secretariat from Walajah Road to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens & National Population Register. #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/XzwZNlMtXn— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2020
The controversial CAA grans Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh -- who entered India before 2015. Protesters feel the law is discriminatory on religious grounds and against the secular credentials of the Indian Constitution. Several opposition parties and civil rights groups have also been agitating against the law.
Hundreds of women and men in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area have been protesting against the CAA. On Monday 17 February, the Supreme Court of India ruled that though people have a fundamental right to protest, there are lines and boundaries that need to be observed. The apex court also appointed three mediators to ask the protesters to move to an alternate site, to avoid causing any inconvenience to the public.