Shaheen Bagh-inspired, anti-CAA protests begin in Ludhiana, MansaUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 22:52 IST
A Shaheen Bagh-type indefinite protest began on Wednesday in Ludhiana and Mansa against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Shahi Imam of Punjab Maulana Habib-ur Rehman Sani Ludhianvi said a decision to launch the Delhi-like protest was taken at a meeting with members of various religious and social organisations.
A large of protesters joined the sit-in at the Dana Mandi area of Ludhiana against the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Shahi Imam said a peaceful agitation would be held daily from 10am to 10pm and the traffic movement will not be hampered.
“Through the protest, we want to bring it to the notice of the BJP-led central government that any law targeting a particular religion would not be tolerated,” said naib shahi imam Maulana Muhammad Osman Ludhianvi.
Before the protest, all-religion prayer meeting was held. On this occasion, Shiv Shankar, acharya of Neel Kanth Mahadev Sabha, Congress leaders Parminder Mehta and Dharmidar Sharma recited the “Gayatri Mantra”, while Giani Kulvinder Singh performed the “ardas”. Pastor Prem Sharda of the Church of North India recited a prayer and the naib shahi imam prayed for peace mankind and read out a verse from the holy Quran.
Later, Sikh youths served langar prepared at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib to the protesters.
Mass organisations under the banner of the Samvidhan Bachao Manch, Punjab, took out a protest march in Mansa. Addressing the gathering, CPI leader Hardev Arshi said the BJP-led NDA government was working on “divisive agenda” of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh instead of focussing on the real issues concerning the people.
Former Dakha MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi said the CAA and NRC are part of BJP’s agenda of making India a theocratic state by changing its secular character. He said that people of all sections of society need to come forward against the Act.
Gurlabh Singh Mahal, one of the organisers of protest, said the administration didn’t grant them permission to hold daily sit-in at the Gurdwara Chowk so the committee decided to hold protest between 10am and 5pm outside the deputy commissioner’s office from Thursday.
The protest was addressed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University student union president and president of All India Students Association Sucheta Dey, AAP’s Budhlada MLA Budh Ram and Punjab Kisan Union leader Ruldu Singh Mansa.
Anti-CAA protests were also held in Khanna.