Tens of thousands of people joined hands to form a human chain stretching from one end of the State to the other on Sunday evening in a mass protest organised by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Leaders of the Left parties joined the chain at various locations. CPI(M) politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai was the first link in the chain at Kasargode in the north while Politburo member M.A. Baby positioned himself as the last link at Kaliyikkavila, bordering Tamil Nadu.
The Opposition UDF which had come forward to join hands with the Left parties in the initial days of the anti-CAA protests, however kept away despite fervent and repeated appeals by the ruling front for a united resistance movement.
The chain extended from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod via Kollam, Idukki, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur on one side of the national highway. The LDF activists from Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts joined the chain in Alappuzha.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran and leaders of other coalition parties joined the chain at the Martyrs’ column, Palayam, the same venue where Mr. Vijayan had shared the dais with Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala in a dharna against the CAA in December, before the UDF decided to pull out of the joint campaign.
Ministers T.M. Thomas Isaac, A.K. Balan, K. Raju, M.M. Mani, G. Sudhakaran, V.S. Sunil Kumar, T.P. Ramakrishnan, A.K. Saseendran, K.K. Shylaja, E.P. Jayarajan, Ramachandran Kadannapally and E. Chandrasekharan, LDF convenor A. Vijayaraghavan, MLAs, film personalities and social, cultural and religious leaders were among those who formed part of the chain in other districts.
Wearing headbands and hats with the message “Reject CAA, NRC”, the participants read out the Preamble of the Constitution and took a pledge to protect secular values. Leaders addressing public meetings organised as part of the programme called for the repeal of the CAA and protection of democratic and constitutional values.
Later addressing a public meeting at Palayam, Mr. Vijayan slammed the BJP-led government at the Centre, accusing it of endangering constitutional and secular values and jeopardising peace. He said the people had seen through the move to discriminate against minorities by determining citizenship on the basis of religion.
Reiterating the State government’s resolve not to implement the CAA and the NRC, he flagged the need to defend the Constitution at any cost.
Ernakulam joins human chain
Thousands joined the ‘Manushya Mahasrinkala’, the human chain organised under the aegis of the LDF in Ernakulam district as part of the statewide campaign against CCA and Citizen’s Register. The Ernakulam district joined the human chain across Kerala at Pongam, near Karukutty. The chain of people linking hands and taking a pledge to protect the Constitution of India ended in the district before Aroor.
An estimated five lakh people may have joined the efforts, CPI(M) sources said. The people began to assemble after about 3 pm and by 3.30 pm the chain was near complete. The local leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI recited an oath and read out the preamble of the Constitution before the dispersal of the party workers and supporters. No untoward incidents were reported during the human chain campaign.
Thousands join LDF’s human chain in Wayanad
Thousands of people joined hands from Mananthavadi to Kalpetta on the Mysuru -Mananthavadi interstate highway on Sunday evening to make the roughly 34-km long human chain organised by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) demanding the Centre to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
Health Minister K.K. Shylaja positioned herself as the first link of the ‘human chain,’at Mananthavadi followed by O.R.Kelu MLA, LDF district convener K.V.Mohanan and CPI(M)district secretary P.Gagarin.
C.K.Saseendran MLA positioned as the last link of the chain here . At many places, the chain became virtual walls with people gathering in strength to make the programme a success.
Public meetings held at 17 centres in the district as a part of the protest, after a pledge.