A large number of Muslims residents including women, have been staging a road blockade stir across the southern districts of Tamil Nadu since Friday night. The agitation continued on Saturday in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, parts of Thoothukudi, Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts.
In Tenkasi, the protesters condemned the police action in Chennai and sat on the Tiruneveli-Tenkasi road near the Government Hospital. Traffic was halted for about 30 minutes. Tenkasi DSP Gokulakrishnan, Inspector Adivel and a team rushed to the spot and held talks with the protesters.
The protesters charged that in a democratic country, when the people stage demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), why should police indulge in lathi charge and arrests. The government should not take the minorities or those who support them for the right cause lightly, they said.
Vehicular movement was disrupted in the area. However, the police diverted the heavy vehicles to the Old Courtallam route. After persuasion, the agitators dispersed.
In Madurai, the agitators squatted at K Pudur, Goripalayam, Nelpettai, Villapuram, Uthangudi and Jinnah Thidal near S.S. Colony police station late on Friday night. They told the police that they would disperse as and when the arrested persons in Chennai were released.
In Thoothukudi, members of the Towheeth Jamaath staged a protest in front of the South Police Station on Saturday and dispersed. In Ramanathapuram district, members assembled in front of the pallivasal and demanded a judicial inquiry into the lathi charge. To prevent any untoward incident, a large posse of police personnel were deployed as a precautionary measure.
In Tiruchi, members of various Muslim outfits carried out a joint demonstration in Palakkarai in the heart of the city on Saturday, condemning the police action in Chennai on Friday.
When they began to assemble in the morning, the police asked them not to disturb vehicle movement. Following this, they gathered along Sub Jail road. They raised slogans against the Central government for enacting what they described as an oppressive act.
They also blamed the ruling AIADMK government for supporting the CAA in Parliament.
Several shops and business establishments run by Muslims in the city were closed in view of the protest.