Multiple anti-CAA protests in Old City face police clampdown

Hyderabad: A pledge to boycott the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register resonated at the Makkah Masjid on Friday with over 200 people rejecting calls to provide documents and information.

Mohammed Mushtaq Mallik, who had given the call for the ‘Million March’ administered the oath to mosque-goers in the masjid’s sprawling five-acre compound. Mr Mallik heads the Tehreek Muslim Shabban and is also the convener of the Joint Action Committee against CAA, NRC and NPR.

He led the pledge to not produce or give any kind of information once the NPR exercise begins in Telangana. He also led the dua after taking the pledge. This is the second time Mallik administered a pledge in the Makkah Masjid, with the first being against the Government of India’s move to criminalise the practice of oral triple talaaq.

In a similar development, Maulana Jaffer Pasha from the Jama Masjid Darul Shifa, too gave a call not to cooperate with enumerators if they ask for information for the purpose of NPR.

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Meanwhile, the city witnessed protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, NRC and NPR at isolated spots. These include the Masjid-e-Azizia in Humayun Nagar and Masjid-e-Ulaje Shah.

Flash protesters struck again as around 400 heeded a call to gather at Khwaja ka Chilla in Moghalpura area of the Old City on Thursday night. According to eyewitnesses, the flash protest began at 7.30 pm after which the gathering grew in size.

The eyewitnesses said that the protesters were primarily women. However, as time passed, a large gathering of young men reached the in solidarity.

Police were caught unaware as they were under the impression that a private, religious event comprising ayat-e-karima and dua were scheduled at the venue. But, given the fact that people were trickling in, they realised that the intention of the meeting was to stage a protest.

It should be noted that the hashtag #HyderabadFlashProtest on micro-blogging website Twitter has served as a rallying cry for anti-CAA, NRC and NPR protests across the city. Sources in the know of Thursday night’s protest said that keeping in with this trend, men and women arrived in Moghalpura.

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They alleged that police behaved in a high handed manner and tried to stall the protests. A large continent of cops, including women personnel, reached the scene. Deputy Commissioner of Police Avinash Mohanty too arrived and took stock of the situation.

“This is a private place. How can they stop us from coming here? It is as if the Telangana police is listening to the Bharatiya Janata Party instead of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi,” a protester said.

As the police deployment increased, the situation turned restive. As many as 12 protesters were detained. They were soon released and any women were sent back. The protest concluded around 3.30 am.

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