Raj Bhavan turns into centre of CAA protest

90-year-old Shaheen Bagh stir leader inaugurates ‘Occupy Raj Bhavan’

February 26, 2020 12:32 am | Updated 12:32 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is aimed to tear apart the country’s cherished secular fabric and divide society, Asma Khatun, a nonagenarian who defied old age to lead the Shaheen Bagh protests, has said.

The agitator, who has come to be hailed as one of the three ‘dadis’ (grandmothers) of Shaheen Bagh, inaugurated the ‘Occupy Raj Bhavan’ protest organised by the Welfare Party of India in front of Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

The 30-hour-long demonstration has demanded the annulment of the CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the National Population Register (NPR).

Ms. Khatun said the ongoing struggle was a battle for all citizens and not just one community.

While the law was a ploy to deny citizenship to the Muslim community, she claimed that it was bound to affect the tribespeople and other marginalised sections who would struggle to produce documents to prove their citizenship.

Modi blamed

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of singling out the Muslim community for hatred, she said many of the Centre’s decisions, including the demonetisation, were aimed at weakening the section.

“He misled the people to gain votes, but revealed his true colours after emerging victorious. No one can deny the fact that we too are the inheritors of the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and the India Gate. They wanted the current of the Delhi elections to be felt at Shaheen Bagh, but we ensured they repented their mistake. Ours is a protest to live with dignity and not to die with fear. We will never bend before them, come what may. The agitation will continue until the law is withdrawn,” Ms. Khatun declared.

Delivering the keynote address, Jamia Millia Islamia student Aysha Renna, who has been at the forefront of the anti-CAA protests, accused the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of undertaking a systematic genocide by introducing an anti-Muslim law.

Fighting against the law

“Despite their evil designs, people cutting across religious and cultural differences joined hands for fight against the law,” she added.

Welfare Party State president Hameed Vaniyambalam presided over the function. Adoor Prakash, MP, former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president M.M. Hassan, Indian Union Muslim League State general secretary K.P.A. Majeed, and Kerala Congress (M) leader P.J. Joseph were among those who spoke.

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