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Mewat residents take out Gandhi Yatra

By Sadia Akhtar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2020 09:30 PM IST

Residents from across Mewat district came together on Thursday and took part in a ‘Gandhi Balidan Yatra’ to honour the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary. Led by various social organisations of Mewat, the march was joined by people from different blocks, who walked from four directions and assembled at Badkali Chowk in Nuh.

While highlighting the values cherished by Gandhi, the participants also raised their voice against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens. While laying emphasis on the need for communal harmony, residents alleged that the new citizenship law is discriminatory.

Salamuddin, president of Mewat Vikas Sabha, the social organisation spearheading the protests, said that the idea behind the march was to convey that the spirit of Gandhi is alive and that it needs to be protected at all costs.

“We came together from four directions, with one person dressed up as Gandhi, leading the people. Our aim is to highlight that Gandhi is still alive among the people of Mewat and his legacy needs to be respected,” said Salamuddin.

He said that they would be starting an indefinite strike on Thursday, morning till evening, against CAA, NPR and NRC.

Referring to Gandhi’s connection with Mewat, Deen Mohammad Mamlika, another social activist, said that the CAA and proposed NRC are in contravention of the ethos of the Constitution and would violate the promises that Gandhi had made to Meos.

Seventy-two years ago, months after the Partition, Mahatma Gandhi had visited Mewat’s Ghasera village and requested Meo Muslim refugees to stay put in the country. He told Meos that all rights would be given to them in India and convinced them to stay in their homeland.

“Gandhi ji came to Ghasera and promised our ancestors that our rights would be safeguarded. The government is disregarding those promises by bringing in legislation such as CAA, NPR and proposed NRC. The Constitution is secular, but the CAA lists religion as a criterion. We will continue to protest against the same,” said Mamlika.

Jawahar Yadav, Haryana spokesperson, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that the CAA would only provide citizenship to religious minorities from three neighbouring countries who entered the country before December 31, 2014. “Those who are critical of the law should understand that no citizen of India will be impacted by the CAA,” said Yadav.

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