More than 20,000 people cutting across all religions Saturday gathered in Dhule town to hold a peaceful protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The demonstration, organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Dhule, was attended by members of all major political parties.
Dhule SP Vishwas Pandhare said the protest was held between 11 am 2 pm, at the heart of the town. “Protesters carried out a peaceful dharna. We received great cooperation from the organisers and nothing untoward took place,” he said.
Shawwal Ansari, vice-president of Jamiat in Dhule, said protesters handed over a memorandum, addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind, to the tehsildar at the end of the protest.
“Muslims in Dhule are scared of being excluded if the NRC is implemented. Both the legislations (CAA and NRC) clearly target the minority communities. People here fear that they will not be able to produce documents showing that their forefathers have also stayed here. In several speeches today, we assured the local residents that they should not be afraid and that we will continue to protest until the government backs out,” he said.
The Jamiat claimed that more than 50,000 people gathered at a 2-km stretch during the protest.