Ludhiana: Muslim bodies take out protest march against citizenship law
The Saturday demonstration comes a day after complete shutdown was observed in Malerkotla, a Muslim-majority town in Punjab’s Sangrur district.Updated: Dec 14, 2019 17:47 IST
Members of Muslim community on Saturday took out a march in Ludhiana to protest the citizenship law.
The demonstration came a day after complete shutdown was observed in Malerkotla, a Muslim-majority town in Sangrur district.
The protesters, most of them migrants belonging to various Muslim organisations, marched from the Jama Masjid in Field Ganj to the deputy commissioner (DC) Pradeep Agrawal’s office and submitted him a memorandum terming the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) “undemocratic”.
Addressing the protesters, Punjab’s Shahi Imam Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi said, “This country belongs to everyone. Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians, all are equal here. By introducing such a Bill, the government is trying to create a divide and we will oppose it till the end.”
Imams of 90 masjids in Ludhiana and all Muslim organisations also rallied behind Ludhianvi.
Mustkeem Ahrari, secretary to Shahi Imam, said, “CAA passed by the Parliament has triggered panic among the community. Both National Register of Citizens (NRC) and CAA are going to impact the Muslim community the most. By keeping Muslims at bay, the government has left an entire community in the lurch.”
The protesters demanded the rollback of CAA and NRC.
Shahi Imam Naib Usmaan Ludhianvi expressed concern while calling CAA a tool of hatemongering. “It is a diversionary tactic of the central government which has completely failed on the economic front. We demand that no Bill should be introduced on the basis of religion. It is unfortunate that Muslims have been targeted in a secular country.”
Protest throws traffic out of gear
The Saturday protest led to a traffic jam on Ferozepur Road, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
The problem compounded as cops diverted the traffic to residential pockets in Gurdev Nagar, Sarabha Nagar and Ghumar Mandi.
Commuters travelling from the Jagraon Bridge side were a harried lot as the stretch was blocked due to the protest.
“It has been more than half-an-hour since we are stuck in a jam. I do not know how long will it take for the traffic to move,” said Abhishek Kapoor, a commuter caught in jam near Jagraon Bridge.
“It took me more than an hour to reach Bharat Nagar Chowk from Samrala Chowk,” rued another commuter Deepak Sharma.