BENGALURU: It was almost a no-shopping day at Shivajinagar on Tuesday as around 7,000 vendors kept their shops shut to take part in the anti-Citizen (Amendment) Act protest. Thousands of protesters from across the city attended the rally conducted by the Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Some vendors preferred to keep their shops closed to avoid any kind of political conflict that could arise in the area.“Some of us run small shops here and already face issues with political goons, who force us to pay bribes to keep the shops open. That includes police officers as well. Though we are in support of the protest, we cannot take part in it openly as we might be targeted. This is our livelihood,” said Ismail, a jewellery vendor.
Another restaurant waiter, on condition of anonymity, shared a similar opinion. “Because we come from a lower strata and are not from Bengaluru, people see us as troublemakers and protesting is like adding fuel to the fire. Hence, we keep a safe distance,” he said.“If these vendors are affected then we are too. Political parties know that being part of a democratic country, we get permission to protest. We have not heard of cases where people are being targeted,” said Mohammed Rizwan, a JAC member. Several persons including MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed attended the protest while Amulya, a popular student activist addressed the crowd, speaking against the Act.
Cops arrest 48 for protesting without permission
Police booked 48 people for carrying out a protest rally against Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Gangondanahalli near Mysuru Road on Monday. The police said that the organisers had not taken permission for the protest. Brijesh Mathew, police inspector of Chandra Layout Police Station, said that a suo motu case has been taken up and the rallyists, including three women, have been booked for “unlawful assembly and rioting”. According to protesters, they had sought permission from the police but it was denied.