- The pro-Citizenship Act rally is being led by Devendra Fadnavis
- Actors, celebrities are protesting against the Act at Azad Maidan
- Protests are also being held in Delhi, Kolkata today against the Act
Two peaceful protests are taking place in Mumbai today over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, not very far from each other. While hundreds of students and social activists have gathered at the Azad Maidan in south Mumbai to protest against the Citizenship Act, four kilometres away, at the August Kranti Maidan, hundreds have turned up in support of the law that for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India.
An activist, protesting against the Citizenship Act, told NDTV that the combination of Citizenship Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register will be a repeat of demonetization.
“CAA, NRC and NPR is not only a religious issue, it will affect everybody. We do not want demonetization Part 2,” the activist told NDTV at the Azad Maidan.
“NPR is the first step to NRC. We are being fooled. This protest will not stop, this will continue till the Act is reversed,” said another student.
Another protester was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “This is an authoritarian regime. It thinks they can do anything. It is this government’s responsibility to protect and not oppose the Constitution.”
Many actors and celebrities too are at the protest site at Azad Maidan.
The pro-Citizenship Act rally at August Kranti Maidan is being led by BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
On the stage, there is a massive Indian flag and a poster of Veer Savarkar. Ranjit Savarkar, grandson of Veer Savarkar will also be present for the pro-Citizenship Act rally.
Last week, at the same Augut Kranti Maidan, a protest had been organized against the new law by students where thousands had turned up.
Apart from Mumbai, protests against the Citizenship Act are also being held in Delhi and Kolkata today.
The government says the Citizenship Act will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
The NPR, sanctioned by the government earlier this week, is seen by critics to be a precursor to the NRC, an exercise to identify illegal migrants. Protests against the NPR and NRC revolve around concerns that along with the new citizenship law, they will be used as tools to target Muslims.