NEW DELHI — Nocturnal protests by gatherings of women were reported from several states on Sunday night after a similar protest action at Shaheen Bagh here dramatically swelled to tens of thousands. Such protests were reported prominently from Patna’s Sabzi Bagh and Toli Chowki flyover in Hyderabad.
The protests continued in Kolkata’s Park Circus Maidan throughout the night. There too, women say they were inspired by Shaheen Bagh. The protest is a week-long by now and the women are determined to continue this until the CAA is revoked.
Around 10:30 at night, when the visuals from Shaheen Bagh popped up on social media, hundreds of women started gathering at Toli Chowki area in Hyderabad in southern India. Protesters from all sections of the society joined in and chanted slogans against the CAA and NRC and against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also sang patriotic songs and waved the Indian National Flag.
The protest continued up to 3am before the police came in and dispersed them. “Our plan was to sit there throughout the night, but police started detaining many protesters including women,” a protester said over phone.
The police action triggered a brief spell of chaos and anger, after which the detained protesters were released by Monday morning.
Countrywide mass protests are on for over a month against the divisive citizenship law that enables migrants from neighbouring countries to get Indian citizenship while it singularly excludes Muslims. Critics say the law goes against Secularism — a basic tenet of the Constitution, and many fear that this, coupled with the citizenship test (NRC), will be used as a tool in the government’s hands to harass and disenfranchise Muslims who form nearly 20 per cent of the population.
Over 30 protesters died in police crackdown so far even as the protests remained largely peaceful.