At least 200 people including historian and academic Ramachandra Guha were detained in Bengaluru on Thursday morning as they attempted to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in two places in Bengaluru. Historian Ramchandra Guha was forcibly detained by the police while he was giving interviews, dragged away into the bus by men in khaki. The 61-year-old was participating in a protest at the Town Hall in the city where Section 144 was imposed.
The detentions from Town Hall and Mysuru Bank were made as the protestors had gathered despite orders prohibitory orders being in place in the city. Heavy police presence marked the area since Thursday morning, including 100 policemen and three Karnataka State Reserve Police vehicles. The first wave of protesters had gathered around 10.45am on Thursday while the second batch came at 11 am. Once they were in substantial number and started speaking to the media, they were detained by the police.
The imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC was announced late on Wednesday evening in light of at least two major anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests being planned.
Historian Ramachandra Guha arrived with a poster of Ambedkar which said “CAA against Constitution”. Speaking to reporters at the protest, Guha slammed the police saying there were acting at the behest of their masters. “They are getting orders from Delhi. Our paranoid rulers in Delhi are scared,” he alleged.
The police were seen asking people who were turning up to leave, and if they resisted, they were detained. Police detained around 100 people in Town Hall las well and took them in buses to Adugodi, SJ Park, Ashok Nagar and Sampangiram Nagar police stations. Additional Commissioner of Police (East) said that the protesters will not be booked.
Just as the protesters were being taken away in the two buses, more protesters came in, and started protesting with slogans and placards. The police could not detain them initially as both the buses had left. Later, they were also detained.
Around 11.30 am, another group of protesters from National Law School in Bengaluru and other colleges also gathered at Town Hall. They were not raising slogans but simply sat down, holding up anti-CAA posters. The DCP Central Chethan Singh Rathore was seen negotiating with them to disperse.
Another protest was planned in Bengaluru on Thursday near Mysore Bank Circle. Around 150 people gathered around 11 am and started raising slogans against CAA and imposition section 144. Protesters said that instead of focusing on the economy and unemployment, the government had brought out legislation which was spreading hatred between communities.
Meanwhile, multiple activists and lawyers are set to approach the Karnataka High Court to vacate the prohibitory orders. Among them are lawyers collective Alternative Law Forum and Brijesh Kallapa of the Congress.