The desert state of Rajasthan saw its largest protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), with the Congress government in the state organising a peace march where thousands of people took to the streets.
More than 35 Muslim outfits took out a protest march, which was later merged with the Congress rally led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. The CM and other politicians marched along the 4-km-long stretch to Gandhi circle, where the stage for the protest was constructed. It was an unlikely sight in one of the otherwise busiest routes of Jaipur, where thousands of people walked clutching the tricolour and carrying placards condemning CAA and NRC.
The Hindi version of 'We shall overcome' (hum honge kaamyaab ek din), the anthem for the 1960's civil rights movement was echoed by the people of Jaipur at the peace march at Gandhi circle. Activists ArunaRoy and Kavita Srivastava also sang it.
Flanked by civil society members and activists, including Magsasay award winner Aruna Roy, on the stage, senior ministers of the government spoke on the issue criticising Narendra Modi-led BJP government in the centre.
"I have said it repeatedly that CAA and NRC are not going to be implemented in Rajasthan. PM Modi, you should understand that nine states have said no to it. Even your allies in Bihar CM and Odisha CM who supported you in Parliament are saying they won't implement NRC. You should understand public sentiment and announce neither NRC in its current form nor CAA will be implemented," Ashok Gehlot said in his address at the rally.
Internet shutdown in Jaipur
Ahead of the protest, additional forces were deployed in the city and around 100 drones were used for aerial surveillance. Mobile internet services remained suspended in Jaipur from 6 am till 8 pm as a precautionary measure. Police commissioner Anand Shrivastav, in a letter to the Divisional Commissioner, said that the above measure is being taken as a part of security measures being taken to maintain peace and harmony.
In his instructions, Gehlot had asked people not to raise any slogan and only carry placards with messages for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The rally began at 10 AM at Pradesh Congress Committee Office from where it reached Albert hall and culminated at Gandhi Circle on Jawahar Lal Nehru Road at 4 pm.