Citizens for Justice and Peace

Ranchi: Shaheen Bagh-like protest near Haj House The Times of India

21, Jan 2020 | Jaideep Deogharia

Ranchi: Shaheen Bagh-like protest near Haj House
RANCHI: Encouraged by the ongoing all-women protest at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi since December 15, women in Ranchi, mostly Muslim and clad in burqa and dupatta, began their indefinite dharna against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) near the Haj House here on Monday.
The protesters under the banner of ‘We the people of India’ started their sit-in around 2pm. Zennat, one of protesters coming from Kadru region, said, “We know it is going to be a long dharna because the government has not even found it important to get in touch with hundreds of women sitting at Shaheen Bagh for more than a month, but that is not going to weaken our resolve.” She added that she has brought warm clothes to the venue.

Arrangements for tents, blankets and mattresses have been made by the locals. Sagufta Parveen, a teacher, welcome the gathering and expressed gratitude to people across communities coming there to sit for the dharna amid wintry nights. She said, “Those who wanted to go to Pakistan and Bangladesh have already gone. We chose India as our country and we all are Hindustanis. It is our birthright to stay in this nation without any discrimination, but our mother and sisters have been forced to come to the streets to demand our legitimate rights.”
One of the facilitators for the sit-in, Tanveer Ahmed, said CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens are against the very basic concept of the Constitution — secularism. He said, “It is not a fight by any particular community, but the Act helped us realise the closeness among different communities that exist in the country.”
He further said the local youth are now preparing to make extra arrangements for the agitators at the nearby Idgaah maidan as protesters are poouing in. “We are getting calls supporting our demonstration from different districts and several women are ready to come and join the sit-in. Hence, we have to make additional arrangements,” Ahmed said, adding that expenses made for the event are contributed voluntarily.

Stating that they are not accepting financial help as of now, Ahmed said, “Those engaged in food business are providing us with meals, while some others are providing tea. We don’t need cash to carry on the show because its a people’s movement.”
Students from JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi who came back home due to the unrest on their campuses have also joined the chorus. “We are taught about the preamble of the Constitution from school and today, if we find that an elected government is tampering with it, we cannot sit idle,” said Imran, one of the students who turned up to help the protesters.
Meanwhile, several activists raised the pitch of protest against CAA, NRC and NPR said they will reject any move for NPR in the state. Addressing a seminar in this regard, Jean Drèze, Shashikant Senthil and Teesta Setalvad among others said these exercises are like an exam for citizenship.
Drèze, a visiting professor at Ranchi University, said, “The first step in the exam is the NPR exercise, which is very different from an ordinary population census. The main purpose of the decadal census is to collect data for statistical purpose and not for identifying individuals. But for NPR, people will have to also give details such as their Aadhaar number, which would strengthen the state’s capabilities of surveillance. NRC is like a pellet gun which is mercilessly used by security forces in Kashmir. It is directed at a specific target (community) but will affect others,too.”
The original report may be read here.



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