Protesters in Telangana are finding it difficult to get permissions for marches and rallies against Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register. There are many who believe it is because of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi, who is in an alliance with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
This trouble began late last month when the first call for a ‘million people march’ in Hyderabad was given by the Joint Action Committee against CAA, NRC and NPR on December 28 for protests on January 4. Soon after, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi gave a call for protests on January 4, 5.
“We gave the first call for protests and as soon as our call went out Owaisi put out his call for protests on the same day. We were not given permission and we had to go to the High Court after which they granted us permissions for the rally. Once he saw that we were taking an initiative, he decided to organise a march,” explains Mushtaq Mallik of JAC.
But his call for a rally on the same dates as the other rally confused and upset several citizens. “Owaisi does not want to organise any rally against NRC or CAA and the CM has not spoken up against it either. Even Jaganmohan Reddy spoke up against CAA in Andhra Pradesh. He is only looking to splinter Muslim attendance at these rallies,” said a Hyderabad resident, who did not want to be named.
“Political parties only want to hijack the movement. Owaisi wants to be seen as the only Muslim leader from Hyderabad. The Million March we had organised had called for people from all communities to join. Though the police gave permissions for only 1,000 people, more than 6 lakh people attended the rally in Hyderabad,” underscored Mallik.
“It is quite sad that Owaisi did not want to attend the Million March, instead he wanted to divide the attendance at both the rallies. If he really felt for the cause, why did not join it. He will soon lose the sympathy of the public with such tactics,” said Ghouse, an advocate from Secunderabad. He did not want to give his first name.
Last week the Hyderabad Police had denied permissions to Communist Party of India’s (CPI) request to hold a public meeting that was to be addressed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar against CAA and NRC. Interestingly, the police hadn’t informed the party members about the denial of permissions, instead, it had directed the venue management about the cancellation.
CPI leader Syed Aziz Pasha said police officers were acting on the orders of the TRS government and denying people their democratic rights.
“Owaisi and his party have nothing to do against the NRC and NPR movement in Telangana. They only showpieces of the state and Central government. He is our MP. He poses against the Centre’s policies, but he does nothing about it,” said Sayed Ali, who is the Minority Welfare movement in the state
The opposition parties are alleging that only AIMIM is being given permission for protest march as it is an ally of the ruling party. AIMIM had organised a 'Tiranga rally' on January 10. It has also announced more protests on January 25 and January 30.