Panakkad Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal inaugurating the convention to declare agitation against the CAA in Kochi on Wednesday (Photo: A. U. Amritha)
Kochi: Holding national flags and placards which read: "Born in India, Lived in India, will die in India", around five lakh people hit the streets in this port city on the New Year day, demanding that the Modi government withdraw the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The people participating in the massive rally, took out from the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here, raised slogans against the Central government's decision to implement CAA and carried photos of Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad.
The rally and the convention to declare agitation against the CAA was organised jointly by a coordination of Muslim organisations, including Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulama, Kerala Muslim Jamaat, Dakshina Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, Jamaat-e-Islam and Muslim League.
“People born in this country also have the right to die in this country,” said Muslim League president state Panakkad Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal said after inaugurating the protest.
“Efforts are on to isolate the Muslim Community,” said Kanthapuram A. P. Aboobacker Musliyar in his presidential address.
Various other Muslim organisations in the state are also part of the joint council which has claimed that lakhs people under different Mahallu committees have attended the rally.
The protesters, who were charged emotionally, held the placards with photo of Ambedkar and a slogan: "We are Indians firstly and lastly."
"India is our nation," was written in a placard under the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi.
The rally culminated at sprawling Marine Drive, five kilometers away from the stadium.
P. K. Kunhalikutty, Benny Behanan, T. J. Vinod, Mathew Kuzhalnadan, Sebastian Paul and leaders of various religious organisations were present.
(With inputs from PTI)