‘How can Kota women be behind?’ say protesters after launching Shaheen Bagh-like protest in city
After Kolkata and Prayagraj, New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA and a proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) inspired a similar sit-in in Kota.
More than a hundred Muslim women from different localities of the city began the sit-in outside the Eidgah grounds, calling it the Shaheen Bagh of Kota, on Tuesday night.
“When the women of the country are organising protests against the CAA and the proposed NRC, how could women of Kota be behind? The new law is a black law against the spirit of Constitution,” said 28-year-old Shifa Khalid, convenor of the sit-in.
“Women in Kota got inspired by the protesters of Shaheen Bagh. Our sit-in is also indefinite,” she added.
Khalid said women in the sit-in are getting food and blankets from the neighbourhood because most of the women are from Kishorepura locality, close to the venue of the sit-in. Women of all age groups from localities such as Vigyan Nagar, Waqf Nagar and Kishorepura are sitting in the protest since Tuesday night.
“I have joined the dharna because the government wants our documents to prove we are Indian citizens even though several generations of my family have lived here,” said Maqbool, 75, of Indira market locality.
Shabana Farhat, 39, travelled nine kilometre from her home near the railway station to join the protest. Despite the cold wave conditions in the city, she spent the night at the spot with more than half a dozen women.
“Many women go home to finish the household chores and return to the sit-in later. The sit-in will continue until the CAA is withdrawn,” she said.
In New Delhi, hundreds of people have occupied a stretch of road in Shaheen Bagh to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and a proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) for almost a month.
The protest has spread to other cities such as Kolkata and Prayagraj. In Kolkata’s sprawling Park Circus Maidan, hundreds of Muslim women have held a round-the-clock sit-in for eight days. The sit-in in Kolkata began on January 7 following social worker Asmat Jameel’s call for it. Many of the participants are first-time protesters, mostly students and homemakers.
The CAA to fast-track the citizenship process for non-Muslims, who have entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh before 2015, has triggered protests across the country.
In Prayagraj, an indefinite sit-in against the CAA, NRC and NPR and police excesses against the student protesters entered its third day on Tuesday. “The sit-in at Mansoor Ali Park began as a small gathering on Sunday. It has now turned into a full-fledged agitation against the government’s actions, which are not in the country’s interest,” said Saira Ahmed, a protester.