‘Won’t back off until CAA is withdrawn’: Mumbai women launch Shaheen Bagh-like protest
A group of Muslim women, including household helps and students, in Mumbai have started an indefinite protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, drawing inspiration from the agitation in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
Those who have gathered on a road in Madanpura said that they won’t leave until the central government withdraws the contentious act. The group, which has around 60-70 people, started gathering on the road on Sunday evening.
“The government is just doing what it feels like. They have detained Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad when he was protesting against the act. The women in Uttar Pradesh are not being allowed to protest, this is completely unconstitutional,” Fatima Khan, a law student who is leading the protesters, said.
Watch: Shaheen Bagh like protest against CAA, NRC in Mumbai
“We are just following the call to have a Shaheen Bagh in each and every city of the country. We won’t budge until the act is withdrawn and the Supreme Court gives the right order,” Khan said.
At least 500 protesters, mostly women, have been protesting in Shaheen Bagh against the citizenship act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the last 40 days. They have said they will call off the agitation only when the amended act is withdrawn.
Khan added that their other demands include a clear stance from the state government rejecting the act, NRC and National Population Register (NPR).
“We are reaching out to more people through social media and asking women to join the protest,” she said.
The women protesters could be seen holding placards with slogans like “We stand against CAA, NRC, NPR”, “They tried to divide us” and “Respect My Existence or Expect My Resistance” written on them. They also shouted slogans hailing Hindu-Muslim unity and brotherhood.
Rosina Aslam Ansari, who works as a house help, said she hasn’t gone for work so that she could take part in the protest.
“What is happening here will affect us as we do not have documents in place. We are left with no option but to join the protest. The person I work for gave me a leave to be a part of the protest, saying she would join me too,” said Ansari.
The amended citizenship act, will allow the government to make illegal migrants, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, eligible for Indian citizenship.
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