Thousands of people took to the streets in Karnataka on Thursday, December 19, to protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), despite the state government imposing Section 144 till Saturday.
Several districts in the state, including Hassan, Ballari, Kalaburagi, Shivamogga and Mangaluru, witnessed major protests. The demonstrations took a violent turn in Mangaluru after the protestors were lathi-charged by the police. It is alleged that the protestors hurled stones at the police and they retaliated with firing tear gas. Mangaluru clerics appealed to the protestors and asked them to return home.
Noted Historian and author Ramachandra Guha, along with several others including the Congress MLA from Bengaluru's Shivajinagar Rizwan Arshad and Pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, was detained by the Bengaluru City Police (BCP) for staging a protest near the Town Hall defying prohibitory orders.
A few protestors from the Muslim community also offered Namaz in the middle of the road near Town Hall, showcasing their opposition against the Act. Vehicular movement from Corporation circle to KR Market road was closed due to massive protests.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa closely watched the developments in the state and has urged the people and political parties to maintain calm over the issue. He told media that CAA is not a threat for any citizen. Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that the government is using prohibition as a weapon to suppress the growing resistance to the Citizenship Amendment Act. "Yediyurappa must know that there has been a lot of repressions," he said.
Congress leaders Rajeev Gowda and Sowmya Reddy have filed a plea in the Karnataka High Court challenging the state governments decision of imposing Section 144 in the wake of CAA protests. The HC postponed the matter for hearing on December 24.