No banners with messages and an intense scrutiny of those in black – this was the brief to those manning the gates at the Wankhede Stadium that hosted Tuesday’s India-Australia ODI. This new security diktat was put in place after police shared inputs with the Mumbai Cricket Association about possible protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) during the game.
It is also learnt that the Indian cricket board had instructed its production crew to be judicious in this regard during the telecast.
“Mumbai Police has received intelligence that few groups are planning to have anti-CAA protests during the game. We were apprised of the situation and that’s why police decided that no placards, colours, banners will be allowed during the game. As far as removing black clothing is concerned, it applied only to those wearing two layers of clothing,” informed an MCA official.
#CAA_NRC_Protests: Students show up at #Wankhede stadium in #Mumbai for #India–#Australia match but…wearing Anti-#CAA, Anti-#NRC, Anti-#NPR t-shirts. Crowd present in the stadium started chanting #Modi, #Modi slogans. pic.twitter.com/J7h5whlWcl
— Neha Bhan (@neha_journo) January 15, 2020
These unusual instructions resulted in several turnstiles arguments during the first half of the game. With India batting first, there was a rush at the gates to get in. However, fans wearing India blues over their black clothes were escorted to restrooms by private guards. However, despite the tight surveillance a section of the crowd in the lower stand did manage to display ‘NO CAA, NO NRC, NO NPR’ message on their T-shirts.
Anticipating that those wearing black will be denied entry in the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday, a group of 25 students decided to wear white t-shirts with just a single alphabet — N, R, C, A, O, P — printed on it.
Once inside, they arranged themselves in order so that the message read as “NO NRC”, “NO NPR”and “NO CAA”.
This article originally appeared in the print edition with the headline: ‘NO NRC’, ‘NO CAA’ protest during India-Australia clash at Wankhede