Scores of protestors march against NRC, CAA, NPR in Pune

Published: Dec 30, 2019, 17:29 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune:

The protesters shouted slogans against the new citizenship law and held placards with messages like "We Reject CAA and NRC", "Stop dividing India" and "Boycott CAA and NRC"

Picture/ Chaitraly Deshmukh
Picture/ Chaitraly Deshmukh

Pune: Over 40,000 people participated in a march in the city on Sunday to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

The protesters shouted slogans against the new citizenship law and held placards with messages like "We Reject CAA and NRC", "Stop dividing India" and "Boycott CAA and NRC". The march, organised by various outfits, included some leftist outfits and Muslim organisations, under the aegis of 'Kul Jamate Tanzeem' and 'CAA and NRC Virodhi Maharally Niyojan Samiti', began at 11 am from Golibar Maidan in Camp area and concluded at the Council Hall chowk.

Social activist Anjum Inamdar said, “Instead of taking the country towards development, the government is dividing people. The government should enact a comprehensive refugee law.”

Mohammad Saif, a student activist, added, “The government seeks to build a register of citizens. There have been multiple conflicting statements in what the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the rules and regulations are saying about this nation-wide exercise. In a country where millions of people don’t have access to their own basic documents, the government expects the citizens to prove that they and their parents are Indian citizens based on a set of documents beyond a set cut-off date.”

Another protester, Nahid Sayyed, said, “After CAA and NRC, now NPR is another tricky project. The first NPR in 2010 did not have provision for submitting parents date of birth and place of their birth. But the current NPR forms circulating, has column for filling these details.”

Memorandum submitted to Collector

The protesters also shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. There was heavy police bandobast deployed to maintain law and order along the rally route and Council Hall Chowk where many leaders were addressing the gathering.

At around 3:30 pm, a delegation submitted memorandum of demands to the District Collector Naval Kishore Ram. The delegation included former Justice BG Kolse-Patil, Republican Yuva Morcha president Rahul Dambale, Indian Muslim Front president Munnawar Qureshi, All India Muslim OBC organisation president Iqbal Ansari, Maulana Zahid Shaikh and others.

While addressing the protesters, Kolse-Patil said "The CAA, NRC are nothing but attack on the social fabric of the nation. The CAA excludes persecuted Muslims thus making it a communal and discriminatory law, which against the spirit of the constitution.”

 

Activist Niraj Jain of Lokayat added, “We are protesting the laws which will put burden on the poor people who will be forced to spend lot money on making documents.”

In his address, student leader Umar Khalid said "India has rejected the saffronisation of the country. The current government is repeating agenda of Jinnah-Savarkar. They want to divide the people (country, and we will start Bharat Jodo Andolan. The government must withdraw the Act as it is against the people.”

Khalid also spoke against 'high handedness' of Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh police in dealing with protesters. He alleged that there was the violence during protest in some BJP ruled states. “Freedom fighters had not sacrificed their lives to form this country on the basis of religion,” said Khalid

He alleged that after the protests across the country, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are lying about NRC as they fear the response from the people. “Therefore, we should not fear about this legislation,” he added.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who came to India before December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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