Former JNUSU president Geeta Kumari addresses women in Mansa at an anti-CAA protest.
On International Women’s Day, thousands of women took to the streets in various parts of the state including Malerkotla, Ludhiana and Mansa to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. In Mansa, women working as farm labour protested, demanding equal wages at par with men.
In Mansa, a 100-year-old woman, Mukhtair Kaur, was part of the anti-CAA indefinite dharna. Former JNUSU president Geeta Kumari addressed the women on Sunday. Geeta said, “Today a second revolution can be seen in our country in the form of many Shaheen Baghs across the country to protest against CAA. Women are sitting on dharnas to protect their citizenship rights.” She also remembered women activists Fatima Sheikh and Sawitri Bai Phoole.
Prof Kanwaljeet Kaur, Manjeet Kaur Aulakh were the other speakers at the protest.
In Ludhiana, there is a massive rally in association with 14 farmer unions planned for Monday, but on Sunday, women from the city took out a march on the Jalandhar bypass and surrounding areas holding the tricolour.
The indefinite dharna in Ludhiana has been going on since February 12 and is largely being represented by women. “Women are leading morchas everywhere in the country. Hence this Women’s Day they are once again talking about their rights and demanding rollback of CAA,” said speakers Rizwana, Nashra and Nagma.
In Malerkotla, sources said JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was expected to come, but she didn’t. Instead, the local leadership under the banner of Istri Jagrit Manch took out a march on the streets of Malerkotla. Aman Deol was leading the march.
Large gatherings were organised in various parts of the state at a time when the Centre has issued an advisory suggests that large gatherings be avoided due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country. Sangrur DC Ghanshyam Thori, “We had informed the protesters about the (COVID-19) advisory. We can only advise, there are no instructions to ban any dharnas.”
SAD cancelled its Mansa rally scheduled for March 7 after Mansa DC denied permission for the same.
However, the dharna in Mansa was organised in the DC complex itself where thousands of women gathered.
The Punjab government cancelled its all Women’s Day programmes in light of the coronavirus advisory.