Reportedly a mini shaheen Bagh materialized in Chennai's Old Washermenpet area late friday night, following police action on protesters agitating against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. As protests demanding 'azaadi' rented the air, close to a thousand men and women from Muslim communities in and around the area joined a sit-in along the bylanes of Thiruvottiyur High Road. Condemning the police decision to lathi charge at protesters who had gathered there earlier in the day, they also demanded a repeal of the caa, which excludes muslims from its ambit.
Meanwhile according to protesters, they had gathered for an agitation in the area, following the offering of friday prayers at the local mosque. When police came to the venue in the evening, protesters allege that force was used in an attempt to disperse the demonstration. Heavy police presence was deployed in the area as protesters continued to agitate well into the night.
When speaking to TNM, Sahiya, a protester who was allegedly roughed up by the police, said, “When we refused to leave, they pulled us by the hair and dragged us from the road. When we questioned them, they carried us bodily with two people holding our feet up.
Moreover police excess allegedly began earlier on friday evening, leading to several injuries amongst protesters. One woman police officer reportedly sustained injuries. Perhaps visuals from the area at around 8 pm show over dozens of policemen dragging protesters away from the main site of the agitation. The policemen can be seen manhandling, kicking and even beating them as they are forcibly dragged away. Reportedly the police as saying that there had briefly been stone throwing and that this swiftly brought under it.