Nuh defies prohibitory orders to hold protest

Nuh MLA and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Haryana Assembly Aftab Ahmed addressing protesters at Badkali Chowk.

Nuh MLA and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Haryana Assembly Aftab Ahmed addressing protesters at Badkali Chowk.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Support pours in from students, daily-wagers, religious leaders among others as dharna enters Day 11

Deen Mohmmad (55), a tailor, makes it a point to visit every day the ongoing indefinite sit-in agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at Badkali Chowk here. Inspite of staying in Nuh for generations, he has no documents to prove the same. He fears that he might be deprived of India’s citizenship if the CAA and the NRC are implemented.

“I have no documents to prove that I belong to India. I come to this protest every day in the hope that the government will roll back its decision on CAA and not bring the NRC. There can be a delay, but I am sure the government will do no injustice to the poor and the illiterate,” said Mr. Mohammad who was present at the protest site on Sunday afternoon as well.

Jointly organised by Mewat Vikas Sabha and Mewat RTI Manch, the dharna began on January 30, coinciding with the Martyrs’ Day, and entered its 11th day on Sunday, defying the prohibitory orders in the district under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Manch’s convenor Rajuddin Meo, a former journalist, said the administration had made all-out efforts to force them to give up their protest, including lodging FIRs against the organisers. “The administration uprooted the tent on January 30 night and poured water at the protest site the next day to force us to leave. But we were not deterred. If that was not enough, the police registered four FIRs, booking 43 people under different sections of the IPC and slapped notices under Section 107 and 151 of the CrPC against many of us,” said Mr. Rajuddin. Prominent among those booked include Mewat Vikas Sabha president Salamudeen Meo, eminent lawyer Ramzan Chaudhary, historian Siddique Ahmad and Urdu journalist Sabir Kasmi.

Mr. Salamudeen said that Mewat had a long history of peace and communal harmony and no violent incidents were reported in the region even in the wake of demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and recent Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janambhoomi titile suit, but the local administration, acting under the directions from Haryana government, wanted to prevent holding of peaceful protests against the CAA and NRC and suppress our voice. “We assured that the protest would be completely peaceful, but they did not grant the permission. The administration is yet to reply to our application filed on January 28 seeking permission for the protest,” said Mr. Salamudeen.

Though the local BJP leaders from the Muslim community have preferred to stay away from it, all three local Congress MLAs have visited the site and lent support to the agitation. Nuh MLA and Deputy Leader of Opposition Aftab Ahmed, who visited the site on February 4, said that the CAA was against the spirit of the Constitution. “I met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the Home Secretary in connection with the prohibitory orders following which they provided some relaxation, but still protests are not allowed in city areas and within 3km of Gurgaon-Alwar Highway passing through Nuh,” said Mr. Ahmed.

The agitation, being held under the open sky from early morning till late in the evening, has been attracting crowd from across the district, including students, daily-wagers, religious leaders and even women. Sitting among the handful of women protesters, Neha Khan, a trainee journalist, said she had been a regular at the site from the Day One. “The aim of the CAA is to break the unity of the country and discriminate against the Muslim community. The government would do good to take it back or include all religious communities in it,” said Ms. Khan (21) who had her firmly covered. She said that 40-50 women were turning up at the site every day for the past couple of days. School students present poems and enact plays at the site to create awareness on the issue.

Pursuing doctorate from Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, Irfan, who hails from Shikrawa village, said he along with his two friends had come to lend support to the movement and create awareness on the twin issues of the CAA and the NRC. “We have the right to protest peacefully against any law made by Parliament. It is sad that the present regime refrains from talking about the real issues such as unemployment, economy and the Gross Domestic Product. They are targetting the Muslims,” said Mr. Irfan (25). He said that people from all religions and communities were against the law. Another protester, Nasir (26), a fleet manager at a travel agency, said people from all religions would be impacted if the NRC was implemented. “It is because of widespread protests that the government has clarified in the Parliament that they have no immediate plans to implement the NRC. The government will be forced to rethink on the issues if the protests continue,” said Mr. Nasir.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:55:37 PM |

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