A massive rally was held in Kochi on New Year demanding that the Modi government withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Thousands of Muslims hit the streets holding national flags and placards which read: “Born in India, Lived in India, will die in India.”
The rally and the convention to declare agitation against the CAA was organised jointly by coordination of Muslim organisations, including Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulama, Kerala Muslim Jamaat, Dakshina Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, Jamaat-e-Islam and Muslim League.
Various other Muslim organisations in the state are also part of the joint council which claimed that lakhs people under different Mahallu committees attended the rally.
Photos showed Marine Drive, the road along the city’s coast, swamped with people.
The people participating in the massive rally took out from the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, raised slogans against the Central government’s decision to implement CAA and carried photos of Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad.
The rally culminated at sprawling Marine Drive, five kilometres away from the stadium.
The rally was inaugurated by the state president of Muslim League Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal, who said, “Kerala’s secular mindset is the zeal behind this protest.”
“If you ask the sons and daughters of freedom fighters to submit documents to prove their citizenship, there’s only one answer: we refuse to do so,” he said, Malayala Manorama quoted.
“People born in this country also have the right to die in this country,” he added, according to Mathrubhumi.
Kanthapuram A. P. Aboobacker Musliyar said, “Efforts are on to isolate the Muslim Community.”
The protesters held placards with a photo of Ambedkar and a slogan that read: “We are Indians firstly and lastly.”
“India is our nation,” was written in a placard under the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi.
(With inputs from PTI)