Pune: A month on, 150 protesters still at ‘Shaheen Bagh’

Ruchika Goswamy
CAA protest, shaheen bagh protest, Shaheen Bagh Kondhwa protest, pune news, maharashtra news, indian express news

At the protest on Sunday. (Express photo)

The all-women dharna (sit-in) at ‘Shaheen Bagh Kondhwa’, organised by Kul Jamat-e-Tanzeem, an umbrella of like-minded local bodies, has now been underway for one month. On Sunday, the more than 150 protesters at the site raised their voices against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). On the occasion, poets Hussain Haidry and Iqra Khan performed pieces condemning the Act, proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR).

Seemin Ahmed (32), who has been protesting from day 1, said, “We will keep protesting until the Act is revoked. Our efforts together will only keep this fight going. This Act exploits Article 14 which is our right to equality, Article 15, which bars anyone from discriminating on the basis of caste, class, religion, gender or place of birth and Article 21, the right to life. CAA and NRC will not only affect the Muslim people but also other minoroties. The Muslims are just at the forefront. Later, it will come for all. In the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, they have no unity among themselves. When one says one thing, the other states something entirely different.”

She also said that with the help of public protests, the information reaches every nook and corner. “We try to tell each and every citizen by having corner meetings. But we cannot cover the entire area. It is in such spaces where we can talk one-to-one to women, tell them about the Act and how it will affect them,” she added..

In the hopes that the Act will be revoked, the congregation of women protesters will hold Iftar and cultural programmes to spread awareness about their aims.

Ayesha Dalal (40) said that with people getting more aware, fear of the government ceases to exist. “I have been protesting since the first day. People have joined in and are getting to know what all this is about. It is important that each and every citizen gets aware and fights for their rights. We come here everyday adjusting our schedules and jobs. It is not easy but it is necessary.”