'Meet us, we will tell you about CAA,' Mumbai Bagh protestors tell Uddhav Thackeray

Updated: Feb 23, 2020, 07:47 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Banners at Mumbai Bagh urge CM Uddhav Thackeray not to implement controversial Act in Maharashtra.

Feroze Mithiborewala of the Bharat Bachao Andolan and an organiser of the Mumbai Bagh protests said a whole series of events have been planned for February 26, which marks 30 days of the protest. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Feroze Mithiborewala of the Bharat Bachao Andolan and an organiser of the Mumbai Bagh protests said a whole series of events have been planned for February 26, which marks 30 days of the protest. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's supportive stand towards the controversial CAA-NRC-NPR that he voiced after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday has not gone down well with the Mumbai Bagh protesters. Referring to the state government as hypocritical, the protesters said that the stand would only spark protests in other parts of the state.

Apart from other posters and art work objecting to the implementation of CAA-NRC-NPR, the protesters have also put up a large banner requesting Thackeray to visit them at Mumbai Bagh and hear them out. "After the home minister gave assurances that CAA would not be implemented in Maharashtra, the CM now says that there is nothing wrong with it. If that was the case, why would we leave our domestic chores and sit here in the sun all day? He should come and hear our side of the argument as well," said 41-year-old Saira Shaikh, one of the protesters.

Others said they felt let down by the government's reluctance to heed to the demands of the people and pass a resolution against CAA like other non-BJP led states. "When Thackeray had stopped work at Aarey, we hoped that this was a government that would act in public interest. However, instead of focusing on issues faced by farmers, they are more concerned about CAA," said Tehsin Patel, 44, who has been protesting since January 26.

On Friday, Thackeray clarified that Shiv Sena supported the NPR since it is part of the census exercise. Thackeray had also added that Modi had clarified their doubts about CAA-NPR-NRC and stated that there was no need to fear CAA since it wouldn't scrap citizenship.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court appointed interlocutors to persuade the protesters at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh to move to an alternative site. While the Mumbai Bagh protest started to join in the path of the Shaheen Bagh protesters, people who have been attending the protest since January 26 now feel that the movement has an independent fate.

"Despite all the pressure, our stand is clear. We will not move until the government rolls back CAA-NPR-NRC. We don't want any of it. Even if Shaheen Bagh comes to an end, there will be new protests to take its place and we will continue no matter what," said 45-year-old Ghazala Ansari.

Feroze Mithiborewala of the Bharat Bachao Andolan and an organiser said, "It is impressive that the protest has lasted this long considering the pressure from political parties and the police to end it. We have planned a whole series of events for February 26, which marks 30 days of the protest and we are inviting all Mumbaikars to come and attend."

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