Hyderabad: Senior citizens, children, parents and Hyderabadi ‘khandaan’, number over one lakh, joined the ‘million march’ at Dharna Chowk on Saturday despite rumours earlier in the day that it had been cancelled. The march had been called by the Joint Action Committee against the CAA and the NRC.
They parked their jeeps, bikes, cars and vans far away from the venue and walked with the Indian Flag, banners and placards. Marching in groups, they shouted anti-CAA slogans in Hyderabadi style. Families gave children A4-size print-outs to display their anger and emotions against the CAA.
Slogans like ‘Hindustan hamara hai, kisi ko hak nahi hum ko kahe chhodne ke liye (no one has the right to tell us to leave the country)’, Hum ko chaiye azadi, ye hak hamara azadi, Ambedkar wali azadi (we want the freedom given in Dr Ambedkar’s Constituti-on)’.”
Doctors, teachers and lawyers came in groups with theme T-shirts and caps where they could be recognised in the crowd. The T-shirts in white had the colours of the National Flag splashed on them as well as anti-CAA slogans.
Dr Yunus Parvez, a dentist, stood with his team holding a poster reading, “Two months ago it was Kashmir, months ago it was Assam, a week ago it was Delhi, Jab apna ghar jalega, tab kya jagege? (will we wake up only when our house is burning)?”
Big banners of ‘Born in India, will die in India’, ‘Will not fill papers for NRC NPR’ were seen.
Doctors came in their white coats and held National Flags and marched along with the rest of the crowd. Dr Altaf Naseem, senior paediatrician, said, “This Act (the CAA) is against the Constitution and against the people of India. We have to participate and register our protest against such Acts.”
The Dharna Chowk venue was full by 2.30 pm. As more people kept pouring in, they moved in to the adjacent Indira Park. When that too became jampacked, the adjacent NTR stadium had to opened to accommodate the people who were still streaming in.
Those who came after 3 pm parked their vehicles around the LIC Colony and walked towards Indira Park holding flags. After the NTR Stadium filled up, people walked back and stood near their vehicles.
Senior citizens mostly squatted around the closed shops. The crowd increased by 4 pm and the entire place including the streets leading to the venue was completely packed. The meeting ended at 5 pm, but many people were still stuck at Abids, Assembly and Ravindra Bharati.
Meanwhile, a majority of traders of Pathargatti, Chatta Bazar, Gulzar Houz, Lower Tank Bund Road had voluntarily closed their shops to participate in the million march. Traders in Abids placed anti-CAA posters but those were removed by the police. Small businessmen in old city also closed their shops....