Staff Reporter: Thousands of people gathered at Azad Maidan on Saturday afternoon to protest against CAA-NRC-NPR as part of a `maha-morcha’ organised by the Maharashtra chapter of the `National Alliance Against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC)
and the National Population Register (NPR)’. They passed resolutions against CAA-NRC-NPR and demanding that CAA be repealed during the ongoing Parliament session.
The protesters at the ground came from areas across the city, Navi Mumbai, Thane and other parts of the state as well, and included a large number of women. They waved the tricolour and held up placards against CAA-NRC-NPR, even as Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem `Hum Dekhenge’ was recited and slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were raised.
Women protesters raised slogans like "Hum betiyan hain Jhanshi ki rani ki aur Mata Jijau Ki" (We are the daughters of the Rani of Jhansi and of Rajmata Jijau), while others shouted slogans such as `Freedom from CAA’ and `Freedom from NRC’.
Those who gathered at the protest site resolved that they would not agree to show any documents to prove their citizenship since they have been citizens of the country `since time immemorial’. On the stage erected at the ground, speakers recited Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge’.
Convener of the protest, Justice (retired) Kolse Patil, social activist Teesta Setalvad, actor Sushant Singh, and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi were among those present for the `maha-morcha’.
Dr. Azimuddin, one of the organisers of the protest said, “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had stated that NRC and NPR won't be implemented in Maharashtra, so our demand to the state government is that they pass a resolution in the state Assembly that these two will not be implemented in Maharashtra.”
“We are not opposed to a census; we are opposing NPR, which might be done swiftly behind the census by the Central government. They will ask for our documents, which are required for NRC. We also oppose CAA as it is unconstitutional and violates Article 14,” he added.
Samiulla Patel, a 40-year-old protestor from Andheri said, “If the Constitution is in danger, our country is in danger. So we have decided to come onto the streets to fight this law.”