Anti-CAA protest at Bannerghatta Road draws hundreds

Anti-CAA protest at Bannerghatta Road draws hundreds

People participated in a protest against Citizen (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) at Eidgah Bilal, Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru on Saturday. Photo by S K Dinesh

Hundreds of protesters, including women and children, gathered around Bannerghatta Road's Masjid-e-Bilal (Bilal mosque) on Saturday morning to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC).

By noon, the protesters packing the mosque premises spilled over on to the main roads, amid a sea of placards and posters. Despite the big crowd, the protest organised by the Jayanagar Masjid Federation was peaceful.

A saffron-clad Hindu religious head joined the Muslim leaders on the stage supporting their demand. Mohammed Iliyas, treasurer, Jayanagar Masjid Federation, said his family had been living in India since 1940 and asking them to prove their citizenship now would be disrespectful.

"The prime minister and the home minister are giving contradicting statements. There is no other way forward, but to repeal the act," Iliyas said. 

Quoting the Preamble of the Constitution, Qazi Muhammad Ali, one of the speakers at the protest, pointed out that it does not refer to any particular community. 

Women were emotionally charged as they each tried to explain the reasons for protesting.

Rihana Khanum (49) said her mother gave birth to nine children at home with help from a midwife. "Nobody recorded the place and time of our birth. The midwives didn't give us certificates," she said.

Mubeen Taj (52) said non-Muslims should be opposing the act more than the Muslims. "They will come after you. Today it is Muslims, tomorrow it will be Dalits. They will come after all minorities," she said.

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