Closed to motorists for the past two months, a freshly concretised under-construction road in the bylanes of Mumbai Central became the new protest spot for hundreds of Muslim women from adjoining neighbourhoods, who assembled on Monday to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and “create Mumbai’s Shaheen Bagh”.
With their children in tow and waving the Tricolour, the women called for “halla bol” on the National Register of Citizens and the CAA. Protesters occupied the road throughout the day as two benches were joined to form a makeshift stage. In the absence of a microphone, a group of young women stood on stage and sloganeered in unison. Sadaf Shaikh, a resident of Kurla, came to the protest site at 10 am with her six-month-old son and another four-year-old. “If we don’t leave our homes now, those who want to implement CAA will remove us from our homes,” she said.
Gazala Azad, who works with Hum Bharat Ke Log, which organised the protest, said, “We called for some volunteers and instantly 150 women turned up and soon the message spread. We then began to look for a spot but found it difficult to get one nearby Jhula Maidan. It was then that some women who live in this neighbourhood decided to use this under-construction road.”
“No vehicle can ply on this road and those with two-wheelers use the footpath. So, we decided to make appropriate use of it,” said Munawar Alware, who came for the protest from Sewri.
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