The streets of Kurnool city reverberated with slogans ‘azadi’ as thousands of citizens marched against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Friday. The rally, led by burqa-clad women, began at Osmania College in the old town culminated into a public meeting at the Collectorate.
The protest was organised by the Joint Action Committee of progressive and democratic organisations, including Muslim organisations, Congress, YSRCP, TDP, left parties, Virasam and POP.
Addressing the gathering, kazi of Kurnool Md. Abdul Salam Kousar asserted that Muslims are Indians and attacked the CAA and NRC, drawing a roaring response from the crowd. People would fight back if there was a threat to the constitution, he said.
Mr. Salam condemned the police brutality on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and thanked the students for fighting for the country.
POP president G. Bhargava gave the example of V.D. Savarkar, the ideologue of RSS, and claimed that the ‘RSS and the BJP were inherently against the Constitution of the country’. “The country has two groups of people – the ones who did not fight for independence, the RSS, and the ones who fought and died for the country,” he added.
Congress district president Ahmad Ali Khan condemned the policy brought in by the government.
One of the protesters criticised the move as unconstitutional and inhumane. “When the Constitution is being destroyed, we won’t keep quiet,” he said.
Another protester demanded that the government must recall the CAA. Other protesters also chimed in and added that the State government must take a secular stand. They criticised the YSRCP and TDP for voting in favour of the CAA.