BENGALURU: Amidst a thick blanket of security thrown by Bengaluru police, nearly two lakh people gathered at the Quddus Saheb Idgah grounds on Miller’s Road near Cantonment Railway station on Monday morning to protest against the Citizenship Act and NRC.
Addressing the gathering, the activist Harsh Mander called for a civil disobedience movement against the NRC. He pledged that he won’t submit documents to the government even if he is sent to a detention centre.
Interestingly, there was no mobile internet service available for about 2 km from the rally area till the grounds. Though there was no official announcement on this, it was probably done to prevent any rumours spreading amongst the public. All commercial establishments including banks and hotels remained closed around RT Nagar, JC Road, Benson Town and Nandi Durga Road.
The rally came through several areas across the city and joined on Nandi Durga Road and the entire area was jammed due to the crowd. Protesters shouted slogans against the CAA and declared that they would never accept the bill. However, traffic was not affected as the city police had made diversions around the locality.
The protest against the CAA & NRC organised by the Joint Action Committee concluded peacefully on Monday evening. The rally witnessed over 1.5 lakh participants from across Bengaluru and heavy police deployment was made during the rally.
Thousands of shopkeepers in Shivajinagar, RT Nagar, JC Nagar, Frazer Town, Vasant Nagar and other surrounding areas had downed shutters. While no untoward incident was reported, traffic was hit around the venue as protesters took to the streets.
People from all parts of Bengaluru joined the protest, holding placards demanding the withdrawal of CAA and NRC and condemning the central government’s decision. People were seen complaining that there was a problem with the mobile phone network at places near the venue.
The police also ensured that there was no clash between protesters and the policemen, leading to a peaceful conclusion to the protest. Even the protesters did not resort to any violence and restricted their protest only to shouting slogans and displaying placards. However, the traffic police had a tough time managing the traffic and ensuring that those who came for the protests did not park their vehicles in a haphazard manner.
Amidst the protest, a few shopkeepers who dared to keep their shops open in Vasant Nagar and other areas made brisk business.