17, Dec 2019 | Express News Service
NINETY FOUR-YEAR-OLD FREEDOM fighter G G Parikh will lead a large-scale protest against the new citizenship law on December 19 at Girgaum Chowpatty, in which several organisations, students and political parties will also take part. The protest is a part of agitations planned across India.
On Monday, at least 20 social organisations met and called for a collective response to the citizenship law in wake of the police action on students on the Jamia Milia Islamia campus. There were at least five student protests across the city to condemn the assault on students in the national capital on Sunday.
On December 19, Parikh will lead the Girgaum protest along with activist Teesta Setalvad, author Dolphy D’Souza, former IAS Kannan Gopinathan, IPS Abdur Rahman and lawyer Mihir Desai, among others.
“We chose Girgaum for the protest because it is also here that India’s freedom struggle took place. We wanted to move the protest away from Azad Maidan,” said activist Feroze Mithiborwala.
Zubeida Khatoon from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) said the new citizenship law was an attempt to divide people on the basis of religion.
“There is fear of what could happen once the implementation begins,” she said. The BMMA has been holding small protests in Bandra against the law for a week now.
Molnivasi Mala, a BMC teacher and part of the Indian Soil Movement, who was also present at a meeting held in Gandhi Book Store on Monday, said, “The law is entirely unconstitutional. We need to protect our children from what it can lead to in future.”
According to activist Varsha Vilas, thousands were expected to join the protest at Girgaum, including students and political leaders from the Congress and the NCP. “It is going to be a peaceful demonstration. We want to collectively voice our opinion against the citizenship law and we have got a lot of support from multiple organisations,” she said.