Anti-CAA protesters have been trying to portray their protests as a mass movement, where ordinary citizens have been giving up their time to collectively speak out against the law. They’ve been trying to make it sound like a grassroots uprising that is organically cropping up in various parts of the country, buoyed by nothing other than a common grievances against the Citizenship Amendment Act. But now — thanks to a CAA protester herself — we have some insight into what the protests are really like.
Amulya Leona, the woman who’d shouted “Pakistan Zindabad” at an anti-CAA rally in Bangalore, has revealed that her expenses were being borne by “organizers” ever since the agitations began in December last year. And these “expenses” weren’t something to be sneezed at — Amulya and her team racked up bills of Rs. 2 lakh in order to be able to protest at various locations around the country. These revelations were made by Leona to a special police team. Leona has been under arrest since raising the “Pakistan zindabad” slogan last week.
“(Amulya Leona) flew to Mangaluru to take part in protests there and her air tickets were booked by organisers. Similarly, different organisers sponsored her tour across the state. According to Amulya, she would spend the money and organisers would reimburse the amount,” police told TOI.
However, the police stopped short of providing a break-up of her expenses. Police also said it was the “organisers” who usually prepared Leona’s speeches. “Amulya claims a major part of her speeches were prepared by organisers and that she would add a few lines. However, raising pro-Pakistan slogans was her idea,” police said.
But what’s most interesting about her testimony is the amount of money that was spent on her protests. Leona is just a 20-year old student, yet the organizers thought nothing of spending Rs. 2 lakh — more than the money an average Indian makes in a year — towards having her attend and speak at protests. Given the scale of the protests, and the number of people who’re protesting, one can only guess the amount of money that’s being spent on organizing these anti-CAA rallies.
While Amulya Leona doesn’t seem to have yet specified who these “organizers” who funded her protesting are, one would think it’s information that the common Indian citizen deserves to know. These protests have crippled cities, caused the destruction of crores of public property, and led to riots in Delhi which took 42 lives. It’s only fair that Indian citizens be made aware of the individuals or entities that are providing the financial muscle for these protests to take place.