(Written by Raemen Sahney)
Thousands of women, including teachers, homemakers, activists and students, gathered at Agripada on Friday to demonstrate against the CAA, NRC and NPR.
The protest that began around 6 pm, continued till night at the YMCA ground. Armed with the Tricolour, the women raised slogans against CAA, NRC and NPR while displaying banners that stated ‘stop dividing the nation’.
Shaheen Ansari, a professor of English, said the major concern is that the identity of Muslims will be questioned if CAA was implemented. “India has always been a secular country… Now, this is being snatched away. I am more concerned about students,” the 40-year-old said. People are protesting not because they belong to a particular religion but because secularism is at stake in the country, she added.
Another protester, Gazala Khan (31), added: “We want these protests to show some result. Everything that is happening is not correct.”
“So many states have decided to not implement CAA. Hopefully, the central government will abolish it,” Hamida Naren Ansari (49), a homemaker, said. Claiming that the community is afraid, she added: “Why should we be questioned about our identity if India is our’s and our parent’s birthplace?”
The protest saw local residents as well as people from south Mumbai, Vasai, Thane and Navi Mumbai participating. Feroz Khan, from Mumbai Citizen’s Forum, one of the organisers of the protest, said that several NGOs in south Mumbai got together to form an umbrella organisation to hold the demonstration. “We were expecting around 3,000 to 4,000 people. But the turnout was bigger,” he said.
Around 10 pm, the police requested the protesters to disperse. “We hoped to organise a sit-in protest like the women who are protesting in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi but that was not possible,” Khan said. Women had been spearheading a protest in Shaheen Bagh since on December 15.
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