Chennai: A large number of anti-CAA protesters, majority of them Muslims, held a massive protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Chepauk, even as agitations were held across Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The protest was held under the aegis of the Tamil Nadu Islamia Iyakkangal Matrum Arasiyal Katchigalin Koottamaippu, a federation of state Muslim outfits and political parties.
Representatives from DMK and other political parties also took part in the protest.
Meanwhile, as the demonstration was being held at Chepauk, Chief Minister K Palaniswami in the Assembly located inside the Secretariat a few kilometres away, announced welfare measures for the Muslim community, including pension hike for 'Ulema' (Islamic scholars).
#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
Earlier, in a massive show of strength, agitators came in swathes and converged at Chepauk, before taking out a brief march along the Wallajah road as part of their original plan to proceed to the state Secretariat and lay siege to the Assembly.
However, the Madras High Court had on Tuesday restrained the Muslim outfits from going ahead with their siege protest.
The outfits have been demanding that the state Assembly, dominated by the AIADMK, should adopt a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the ongoing session which concludes on Thursday.
Agitators were seen carrying placards against CAA, NRC and NPR, besides the National Flag and raised slogans against the amended citizenship law.
Scores of Muslim women, many of them burqa-clad, joined the agitation.
The protest resulted in traffic snarls at key points along the arterial Anna Salai, even as police had set up roadblocks and sealed off roads leading to the Secretariat as part of beefed up security measures.
The Secretariat, the state's seat of power, was brought under a stricter vigil, with more police personnel deployed at the historic Fort St George to prevent any untoward incidents.
Anti-CAA protests were held elsewhere in the state, including Madurai, Thanjavur, Cuddalore, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Tirunelveli, with members of the Muslim community hitting the streets against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Palaniswami announced a 50 percent subsidy for 'Ulema' to buy new two-wheelers and doubled their pension by increasing the payout to Rs 3,000 from the present Rs 1,500.
The 'Ulema' are the guardians and interpreters of religious knowledge in Islam.
There are 2,814 Waqf institutions in Tamil Nadu and 'Ulemas' working in such registered entities will be provided a subsidy of Rs 25,000 or 50 percent of the vehicle cost, whichever is lower to buy new two wheelers, he told the Assembly.
Also, the government will allocate Rs 15 crore for building a new 'Haj House' here in a land that will be assigned by Tamil Nadu Waqf Board, he added.
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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2020 16:33:22 IST