The massive 'signature campaign' launched by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its allies on February 2 in Tamil Nadu against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) culminates on February 8.
DMK has asserted that the party will hand over the collected signatures to President Ramnath Kovind. DMK President MK Stalin had kickstarted the campaign in Chennai with an aim to get one crore people to sign against the amended citizenship act. His sister and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi had started the campaign from Saidapet, Vandikaran street. Calling the act an attempt by the BJP to take attention off crucial issues concerning the nation, Stalin hit out at the ruling AIADMK and its ally PMK for supporting the act.
Stalin had also urged for a resolution against the act which was turned down by AIADMK. Several states such as Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have passed an anti-CAA resolution in their respective state assemblies. DMK has maintained that the Act has left out Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and Muslims from neighbouring countries.
After the passage of the contentious CAA, the nation witnessed a series of protest starting from the Northeastern states such as Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura, moving to prominent universities such as JNU, Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim University where the protests turned violent with incidents of vandalism, damaging public property and stone-pelting on police personnel followed by harsh retaliation of Police on protestors. Over a month and a half long Shaheen Bagh protest in the national capital staged a blockade of a crucial road connecting Delhi and Noida and causing massive inconvenience to civilians in transit as well as to the emergency services such as ambulances.
The CAA law grants citizenship to persecuted minorities such as Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi refugees who have escaped persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and have taken refuge in India since or before December 31 2014.
(With ANI inputs)