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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pune ka Shaheen Bagh: Powered by women, protest against CAA reaches Camp

“We are inspired by our counterparts at Shaheen Bagh. Sometimes, it is difficult for the women in Camp and surrounding areas to go to Kausar Bagh at Kondhwa. We will sit here 24/7 to register our protest,” said Rameeza Khan, one of the protesters.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Published: January 23, 2020 8:44:55 am
Pune CAA protests, CAA protests Pune, Citizenship Amendment Act, CAA, CAA protests, Pune protests, Pune news, city news, Indian Express The protesters said they are inspired by their counterparts at Shaheen Bagh. (Express Photo)

After Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi and Kausar Bagh at Kondhwa in Pune, another venue in the city — in the heart of Camp at Chhatrapati Shivaji Market — is seeing a protest led by women against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“We are inspired by our counterparts at Shaheen Bagh. Sometimes, it is difficult for the women in Camp and surrounding areas to go to Kausar Bagh at Kondhwa. We will sit here 24/7 to register our protest,” said Rameeza Khan, one of the protesters.

‘Savitribai Phule and Bibi Fatima – Pune ka Shaheen Bagh’ banners were displayed at the shamiana that were set up near Shivaji market. Special arrangements were made by placing mattresses for women who find it difficult to offer namaaz on the ground.

“We are not part of any organisation… we are fighting for our rights,” said Ruksar Sayyed, a housewife.

The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 sit-in peaceful protest led by women, which has become the longest ongoing protest against the CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR).

From Iffat Sayyed, an SYBA student of Poona college, Kalpana Zende, a vegetable seller at the Shivaji market, to Zaheera Khan, a first year BA student, the protesters had a similar response. “We are citizens of this country. Why should we show identification documents or even be asked to do so,” said Sayyed. Manzoor Shaikh, a member of the All India Muslim OBC organisation, said the organisation was supporting the protests.

Across the city, organisations are planning to step up the momentum of anti-CAA protests ahead of Republic Day.

Another group is planning to read the Preamble of the Constitution at the district collectorate. Aslam Bhagwan from the Incredible Social Group has launched a Jal Satyagraha from Wednesday while on Thursday, a signature campaign will be undertaken as part of their protest against CAA.

Vilas Kirote, coordinator of the WhatsApp group ‘We oppose NRC’, which includes members from 20 organisations in the city, said a special training session will be conducted for volunteers on January 27 on issues related to CAA-NRC-NPR.

Kannan Gopinathan, a former IAS officer who had resigned from service as a mark of protest against restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370, will be among the trainers.

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