AMID THE COVID-19 scare and health advisories warning against mass gatherings, organisers of three indefinite dharnas protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Ludhiana, Malerkotla and Mansa have declared that they will continue, but in fewer numbers.
Mohd Mustkeem, press secretary, Shahi Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Sani Ludhianavi, said, “Our fight will continue. However, we do understand the health advisory and we will be doing a smaller gathering from Tuesday onwards. We started implementing this on Monday itself. We had planned a mega rally of all centres — Ludhiana, Malerkotla and Mansa – and other like-minded organisations on March 25, which we have postponed. We will be taking a call on a different date on March 31.”
In Malerkotla, the indefinite dharna going on since January 7 has been converted to a weekend dharna, but no change has been announced in Mansa.
Nadim Anwar, coordinator of the Joint Action Committee of Malerkotla, said, “Now we have decided to organise dharna on weekends only. If any particular speaker wants to come to address the masses, we organise dharna on weekdays as well on Sarhandi gate. One such gathering happened on Monday as activist Chandershekhar Azad had come to address the masses. However, life is going on as normal in Malerkotla.”
In Mansa however, the Savidhan Bachao Manch has not given any instructions for small gatherings. Gurlabh Singh Mahal, a member of the committee, said, “Our gathering is going on as normal in DC complex. It is against an issue and we are not going to back out. Even the dharna at Shaheen Bagh is going on and ours is in support of Shaheen Bagh.”
However, several members of the Manch have been carrying out awareness drives about the coronavirus. Ludhiana DC Pardeep Aggarwal said, “We can issue advisories to people against large gatherings, there are no prohibitory orders.”
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