The number of women protesters at Kanpur’s Mohammad Ali Park, where they have been taking part in a sit-in against the new citizenship law and proposed NRC for nearly a month, swelled on Tuesday amid allegations that police had used force to disperse them on Monday. Several women were seen squatting on a road near the park till late Tuesday evening. Protesters alleged that police teams had arrived at the park early Monday morning and made all efforts to push them outside, prompting them to squat on a nearby approach road to the park Monday noon.
Police said that they are trying to convince the protesting women to clear the road.
Additional SP (West), Anil Kumar, said, “We did not use any force. Not a single woman was injured. The protest (at Mohammad Ali Park under the Chamanganj police station area) had ended. But factions have developed among women and there are some who want to become leaders and have continued to protest. Hence, the sit-in is still going on. Because of the sit-in, the road has been blocked and is leading to severe traffic congestion. The situation till now has been peaceful.”
On Sunday, Kanpur police had claimed that the anti-CAA protests at two sites in the city — one at Tikuniya Park in Babupurwa and the other at Mohammad Ali Park in Chamanganj — were called off after they spoke to the protesting women and accepted their memorandums.
On the contrary, many women had continued with their sit-in at Mohammad Ali Park.
Ghazala Beghum (35), who was at the protest on Tuesday evening, accused the police of using force to disperse the women protesters. “At 4 am on Monday, police used force to send us home. But we did not move. Then, the police overpowered us and occupied the park. It was after that, we sat outside on the road, and then more women joined us to protest against the CAA-NRC,” said Ghazala, adding that at no point, the number of protesters went below 150.
She said that they would continue with their sit-in for an indefinite period.
“We will sit on the road until our demands are met. We want the government to withdraw CAA and assure us that NRC or NPR will not be conducted anywhere in the country,” Beghum added.
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