Security in Chennai has been tightened as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliance parties are all set to hold a mega rally on December 23 to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The police reportedly expect a crowd of around 20,000 people at the rally. Police have employed video cameras across the route from where the rally would proceed. Anti-riot vehicles with water cannons are also on standby if required to be used at any point in time in the rally.
The police had initially denied permission for the rally. They cited the violence that has occurred in the recent protests held against the CAA across the country which has resulted in injuries to protestors and police personnel and damage to public property as well. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Madras High Court against the organising of the rally. The Madras High Court heard the PIL on Sunday evening and granted permission to conduct the rally. However, it has also granted permission to police to video record the rally so that the perpetrators, if any, would be made accountable. The court also ordered the police to make use of drones, if necessary, to monitor the situation.
The judges, not wanting to take any chances in view of violent incidents reported across the country during such protests, ordered that if the rally is held without police permission, it should be recorded using drone cameras. This is so that the political leaders concerned could be made liable for the violence.
Along with DMK, Kamal Haasan founded Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) was to participate in the rally. In a set back to the rally, MNM backed out on Saturday evening stating that Haasan was travelling abroad for medical consultations. The party’s vice-president R Mahendran was already out of the country hence the party has expressed its inability to participate in the rally.