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Citizens raise voice against CAA-NRC at Azad Maidan

By Yesha Kotak
PUBLISHED ON FEB 16, 2020 12:25 AM IST

Thousands of citizens gathered at Azad Maidan on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

The organisers of ‘Maha Morcha’, including former Bombay high court judge justice BG Kolse Patil, also submitted a memorandum under the banner of ‘Alliance Against CAA-NRC-NPR’ to the Governor.

The memorandum, a copy of which HT has, read, “Abolish CAA because it is arbitrary and discriminatory, therefore unconstitutional…Assure that NRC will never be implemented because it will bring enormous hardships to poor and downtrodden masses of the country.”

Organisers claimed that this was the largest anti-CAA gathering in the city till now.

Among those who gathered at Azad Maidan were people who had come all the way from Mumbra. “There are a lot of events taking place, but because they are in the suburbs they aren’t catching the attention of authorities, which is why a big event such as this was planned at Azad Maidan,” said Hasib Bhatkar, president, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Mumbai.

Sarah Sheikh, a businesswoman, expressed concerns if people from all sections of the society will be able to produce citizenship documents.

“We were having a casual conversation in our car the other day about CAA and NRC, when my driver told us that we could somehow manage our documents because we have lived here and our parents are around, but poor people like him would be left to suffer,” said Sheikh.

Among those who addressed the audience were representatives of the Buddhist, Christian and Sikh communities. Father Frazer Mascarenhas, parish priest of St Peter’s Church at Bandra and former principal of St Xavier’s College, expressed concern over the attacks on students in Delhi and in rest of the country.

Meanwhile, some students, activists and artists have been organising anti-CAA events over the weekend across the country under the banner ‘India My Valentine’, during which poetry, songs, stand-ups and plays are being performed.

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