By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Jan 29
Taking inspiration from the women’s agitation at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi, hundreds of Muslim women continued staged anti-CAA agitations, whereas lawyers came in support of CAA, NRC and NPR in Mumbai on Tuesday.
A large number of lawyers affiliated to the Bombay High Court Advocates’ Bar Association and the Advocates Association of Western India, held a march outside the Bombay high court in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The lawyers marched from one gate of the high court to another shouting slogans such as “We support CAA”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”. They insisted that the support to CAA is not against any Indian.
Among those who participated in the march were senior counsel Ram Apte, advocate Uday Warunjikar and Subhash Ghadge and Anjali Helekar – members of the Advocates Association of Western India.
“There is a presumption that every law is constitutionally valid and the CAA is not an exception. Unless any act is declared as invalid, the law continues, and hence we held a march in support of the CAA,” Advocate Warunjikar told the media.
Whereas on January 20, a bunch of lawyers-including Gayatri Singh, Mihir Desai and Agasti Vibhute, had gathered outside the high court and read out the preamble of the Constitution of India to protest the CAA.
In another development, hundreds of women continued their anti-CAA/NRC/NPR agitation on a road in south Mumbai’s Nagpada area, which they had started on Republic Day night. The protestors holding placards carrying the slogans like “We stand against CAA, NRC, NPR”, “They tried to divide us, Respect my existence or expect my resistance”, sat down on the Morland road outside Arabia Hotel and raised anti-CAA slogans. Many were seen also holding Indian flag and shouting slogans hailing Hindu-Muslim unity and brotherhood.
Most of the protestors are residents of nearby Muslim-dominated Madanpura, Jhoola Maidan, Apripada, and Mumbai Central areas. They have not withdrawn their agitation despite senior officers of the Mumbai Police urging them to do so. Senior Nagpada police station inspector Shalini Sharma said that she had requested the protesters to take a prior permission from the police, but the women refused to budge and continued to occupy the road.
The movement has surprised many because women along with their children spent an entire night on the road holding placards and raising slogans against the new law. Social activist and former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University Umar Khalid also addressed the gathering.
Protests are underway in different parts of the country against the new law, which grants Indian citizenship who entered India on or before December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.