Coronavirus scare: Nagpada's Anti-CAA protest paused amid COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 07:32 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

It will carry on symbolically online say organisers, police say they will not remove barricades, chairs

The women have been protesting at Morland Road, also called Mumbai Bagh for over 50 days
The women have been protesting at Morland Road, also called Mumbai Bagh for over 50 days

The sit-in protest against CAA-NRC-NPR that has been taking place at Nagpada's Morland Road, widely referred to as 'Mumbai Bagh,' for more than 50 days, has been officially paused as of late Sunday night.

Protest pauses
Earlier this week, Feroze Mithiborwala, vote committee member of anti-CAA group 'Hum Bharat Ke Log,' had indicated that he would talk to the women leading the protest about putting it on hold until the Coronavirus crisis subsided. On Sunday night, a digital communication from one of the organisers of the protest, Rubaid Ali Bhojani, was put on the official Mumbai Bagh WhatsApp group. "All the protests at Mumbai Bagh Bagh are being withdrawn due to the Coronavirus pandemic and implementation of Section 144 in Maharashtra. The police have verbally assured us that all the set-up at the venue will not be dismantled as the women will resume their protest once the threat of COVID-19 eases in the city," he said, adding that the protest would continue after the Coronavirus crisis passes, and that for the time being, people would be symbolically carrying on the Mumbai Bagh protest online.

Another prominent personality at the protest, Tohaa Qureshi said, "A team of Mumbai police and a local doctor, Dr Mustakeen Solkar, urged protesters to discontinue their sit-in protest as the gathering may further spread COVID-19. Dr. Solkar would always come to Mumbai Bagh and check the health of protestors. So the women have agreed to pause their protest but it will resume after the virus threat eases."

'With the govt on COVID-19'
"We may have a difference with the government on CAA-NRC-NPR but we are with the government to fight against COVID-19. Since we have announced we will pause our protest to encourage social distancing, we will now reel in people on Skype, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter to convey our message to the masses," Bhojani said.

A senior police official confirmed to mid-day that the protest has been discontinued by the women at Mumbai Bagh. "We managed to convince them as the sit-in protest was encouraging mass gatherings," said the officer who further added that the barricades, chairs and mats, banners, etc at the protest site will not be removed till further order.

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