Telugu states witnessed massive protest demonstrations on December 19 as thousands of people joined the nationwide protest called by the Left parties against the recently passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed all India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
While the Telangana police imposed Section 144 in parts of Hyderabad and detained student activists, leaders and supporters of Left parties including Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, New Democracy and others. Even after the police detained hundreds of people who had gathered at the exhibition ground in Hyderabad’s Nampally, members of left parties, concerned citizens and Muslim organisations still held protest demonstrations at the ground.
In Andhra Pradesh, the anti-CAA protests resounded across the state wherein massive rallies were held in all the district headquarters. While both the ruling party, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and main opposition Telugu Desam Party voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, Andhra Pradesh deputy Chief Minister SB Amzath Basha announced opposition to CAA in the wake of protests. Meanwhile, KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi had voted against the bill. Opposition parties including Left parties and Congress are demanding a special Assembly session for rejecting CAA.
Civil society activists and politicians from several parties and student groups members from Muslim communities have formed a ‘Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Joint Action Committee’ to organise people against CAA. “The CAA and pan-India NRC is a larger conspiracy (of Bharatiya Janata Party/ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) to discriminate and project Muslims and dalits as non-citizens in the country,” the committee stated in a press release.
Also read: Anti-CAA Protests Intensify: Left Leaders, Historian Ramchandra Guha Among Hundreds Detained
The protest were also joined by practising lawyers in both the states who led separate protest demonstrations in front of court premises in the two states. Addressing a protest gathering in Vijayawada, CPI(M) Andhra Pradesh Secretary, Penumalli Madhu said, “We will not rest until the CAA and NRC are rolled back by the Hindu Nationalist Government.”
Massive rallies were held in Vijayawada, Kurnool, Kadapa, East Godavari, West Godavari and Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.
In Telangana, police opted for preventive detention of large number of students and Left parties’ leaders in all the districts. However, protests continued to be held. Students of Hyderabad Central University, who were on their way to join the protest were detained and were taken to Moinabad police station on the outskirts of Hyderabad and were released after a few hours. Students from Maulana Azad National Urdu University and Osmania university have also been protesting against CAA for the last few days.
Protest gathering in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh.