Facing mounting pressure to end a rally on Tannery Road against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), protesters downsized their footprint while consolidating their numbers.
Until Tuesday morning, the so-called ‘BilalBagh’ protest which had taken shape along 9th Main Road in Pillanna Garden, had the support of the local Masjid-E-Hazrath Bilal. That decisively ended as the protest entered its fifth day on Wednesday morning, sources said.
Shops within the Masjid-E-Hazrath Bilal complex which had been closed have since reopened and protesters said they had reduced their presence on the road, so as not to impede local commerce.
Warsi, one of a handful of people involved in organising the protest which has racked up over 96 hours so far, said they were facing increased pressure from both the police and members of the community to disband the protest.
“Having lost the support of the masjid, we have lost access to freshwater and toilet facilities.
However, local residents are still supplying the site with food,” she said, before striking a defiant chord. “No matter what happens, we will not budge an inch from this place.”
It was a sentiment that could not be shared by another group of women protesters who had sought a space in front of Russell Market in the heart of Bengaluru only to be turned back by police on Wednesday morning.
Manu Chowdhary, an organiser of a planned three-day rally in Shivajinagar, said her group of 50-odd women was blocked by an equal number of police officers.
She alleged that the police refused the group permission access to the area unless they signed a letter of conditions.