MUMBAI: While two former IAS officers Kannan Gopinathan, Sashikumar Senthil and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad on Tuesday appealed to Maharashtra and other states to boycott the National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizenship (NRC), a delegation of Muslim leaders met city police chief Sanjay Barve and requested him to withdraw cases against the Mumbai Bagh protesters.
“Whoever says that NRP and NRC are not connected is telling a lie. NPR is a step towards NRC. NPR is dangerous and must be stopped immediately,” said Gopinathan who had quit IAS protesting scrapping of Article 370 ending special status to Jammu & Kashmir last year. “NPR and NRC are dangerous also when you look at them in the context of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and home minister Amit Shah’s repeated statement in Parliament and outside it that the government would bring a nationwide NRC.”
“There is a lot of ambiguity about NPR-NRC. People have no trust as there have been confusing statements from ministers and officials. As the enumeration process for Census 2021 and NPR may or may not happen together and be conducted by the same officials, a clarity is needed. The government must call off NPR 2020 if it wants Census 2021 to be conducted smoothly,” said Setalvad, who is also associated with Citizens for Justice and Peace.
A delegation, led by former state minorities commission chairman Naseem Siddiqui and comprising MLAs Abu Asim Azmi, Amin Patel, former MLA Waris Pathan, activist Salim Alware and others, met Barve and requested him to withdraw the FIRs filed against the unnamed Mumbai Bagh protesters at Morland Road. “Barve assured us that the police would not be harsh on the protesters and offered two alternative venues, Jhoola Maidan or Azad Maidan, for the women to protest against CAA, NRC and NPR. We will wait till SC order on Shaheen Bagh on February 17, and urge protesters to shift to either of the two sites,” said Siddiqui.