The night of horror remains fresh in the minds of Delhi students who marched against the newly introduced Common Amendment Act (CAA) on 15th December. Dozens of students were assaulted with batons among the firing of tear gas shells. Not just Delhi, states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, and West Bengal saw rallies against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which later transformed into a battlefield after mobs vandalized buses and police vehicles.
However, Bengaluru was the only place where the situation was well controlled and managed by the city police. No batons or tear gasses were used in any protest within the city. Moreover, the police made great efforts to make peace with the young protesters by informing them about the consequences.
The Jamia Horror
December 15 will be recorded as a grim day for the students at Jamia University. It is because hundreds of students were brutally assaulted by the police that day, for making a violent protest against the citizenship law. As soon as some protesters tried to cross the barricades, the police called a baton-charge to separate the protesters. Quickly when the protest turned into violence, public properties were vandalized which included buses and police vehicles.
In an attempt to stop the intense protest, few policemen were injured during a stone-pelting carried by the mob. It was then the cops started to chase the students into the university and fired tear gas and ruthlessly thrashed them showing their wrath. The police appeared to be in revenge mode as they also entered the library, reading rooms, and classrooms to dominate the circumstance.
Protest emerged despite restrictions of section 144
The entire week, the nation continued to protest against the controversial CAA. Various places in Karnataka was eying a concern for a similar kind of violence in the state. However, the government was quick to impose Section 144 across several parts of Karnataka in a late-night order on Wednesday, 18 December. Despite warning from the city police, citizens of Bengaluru were prepared to march a huge protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Thousands of people comprising students, advocates, activists, and citizens came out in protest near Town Hall. With police denying permission, the protest turned into uncontrollable marches. Sighting the situation, the deployed police detained several protesters in the nearby police stations. Historian Ramchandra Guha was also among others detained in the protest at Town Hall.
How Bengaluru police were fully prepared?
Amid security concerns, the authorities had installed more than 1,000 CCTV cameras in various regions. While volunteers stationed by the organizers helped those attending the rally, police had a special squad to monitor CCTV cameras examining the venue to spot the troublemakers and take direct custody of them.
With the kind of police violence and riots that were witnessed across the country, the Bengaluru police officer had won the hearts of people in social media for their gentle and understanding approach to the protesters. Cops in different areas were seen requesting young students to trust and accept their leadership above all mob mentality.
How cops behaved with the protesters
During the protest, as the residents were protesting in front of Townhall and refused to move, DCP Chetan Singh Rathore easily spoke to the protesters about crowd mentality, instead of bursting into a rude lathi-charge. He also sang the national anthem with all of the protesters.
“I tried to convince them to accept me as their leader temporarily and asked them to come with me. When the channel of communication is not open, there is a gap. They see the other party as an enemy, in this case, it was the police. I tried to maintain the relationship and friendship. We are both citizens, except for this uniform,” he said.
#WATCH Karnataka: DCP of Bengaluru(Central),Chetan Singh Rathore sings national anthem along with protesters present at the Town Hall in Bengaluru, when they were refusing to vacate the place. Protesters left peacefully after the national anthem was sung. #CitizenshipAmendmentAct pic.twitter.com/DLYsOw3UTP
— ANI (@ANI) December 19, 2019
Another cop from Bengaluru was seen spreading peacefull messages amongst the protesters where he ensures that they (the police) were always defending the citizens. And had requested all to trust him and accept his administration.
If you get any messages that harm communal harmony, cross check or call me. I will clarify. Dont take any action without confirming news.@hsrlayoutps inspector goes to mosques to clear air on #CAA @nimmasuresh@santwana99 @ramupatil_TNIEhttps://t.co/FaZZzVoRKZ pic.twitter.com/FeNa22oKCg
— Ashwini M Sripad (@AshwiniMS_TNIE) December 21, 2019
The entire country praised Bengaluru police
The city police were also praised for showing their good side while detaining people. Around 120 detainees were taken to a wedding hall in Kormangala by the police. By the time protesters were brought to the venue, it was 1:30 pm. Realizing it was lunchtime, the police promptly arranged for tomato rice to feed protesters. Moreover, several senior citizens, among those detained, were diabetic and complained of low sugar. The police provided glucose powder for the diabetics.
Bengaluru had similar protest rates as compared to several places across the country which saw huge protests against the CAA. However, the situation was different here as they were no violence, no batons or tear gasses involved. Police had made good security arrangments and always had an eye on social media activities. Moreover, the police made great efforts to make peace with the young protesters by warning them about the mob mentality. They also had a good understanding approach to the protesters which led to a calm protest.