The Mumbai Police on Friday registered a case against 300 people in Nagpada, who have been on an indefinite protest since January 26 against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The move came after the civic body allegedly complained that it was unable to repair roads due to the protest.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Central Region) Veeresh Prabhu said the FIR has been registered against unknown people. “On Friday evening, a BMC official came to the Nagpada police station and complained against the ongoing protest,” he added.
The protesters have been booked under Section 431 (mischief by injury to public road, bridge, river or channel) of the IPC and Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. “We have not taken any action against anyone yet. We have just registered an FIR,” said Prabhu. The police said the organisers and the agitators have been booked for blocking the road and deterring BMC workers from carrying out repair work.
BMC officials they were carrying out repair work on Morland Street in Nagpada — popularly referred to as ‘Mumbai Bagh’ on the lines of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest — but with women agitating on the same lane, work could not be completed.
Maaz Azeem, one of the volunteers at the protest, said: “This is a pressure technique by the police to stop the protest. The road work was stopped several weeks ago by BMC. The protest started much later. It has nothing to do with the protest.”
Till Friday night, the protesting women did not know about the FIR. Aliya Faiz, a protester, said, “I come here every day. We have not been informed by the police. What is the FIR about?” Activist Feroze Mithiborwala, who was at Mumbai Bagh on Friday night, also said they have received no information from the police or the BMC.
Mumbai Bagh saw heavy police deployment on Friday afternoon. “They just came and stood with lathis. We decided not to react. We started calling our friends to join us. After we finished our Friday prayers, they slowly started to leave,” Ruhi Ansari, a Nagpada local, said.
The protesters said they will continue the sit-in till CAA was repealed. “Even though the CM has assured that he will not implement NRC, this is not the question of one state. We support the women of Shaheen Bagh in Delhi. We will continue to sit in solidarity,” Ansari said.
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