NEW DELHI— Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets after congregational payers across cities and towns in India on Friday in a continuation of the protests against the new law, the Citizenship Amendment Act, which discriminated against the Muslim minority in grant of citizenship.
The demonstrations were on since early December when the central government changed the law allowing non-Muslim migrants to get fast-track citizenship. The protesters are demanding a repeal of the act and see the amendment as part of the Hindutva agenda of the BJP-led government, reducing Muslims to the level of second-class citizens.
In the southern city of Hyderabad and adjoining Muslim-strong towns, protesters resolved to continue the struggle unless the central government changed its tough stand. “We will boycott the NPR and NRC exercises linked to CAA,” protesters said.
At the central mosque in Hyderabad, called the Makkah Masjid, one of the leading organisers of the protests, Mushtaq Malik, administered an oath wherein people vowed to boycott the exercises, which they alleged “are part of the policy to disenfranchise the Muslims.” Similar events were held in other part of the state too, where people pledged to continue the struggle.
At the forefront of protests are women organising sit-ins in many towns. In Delhi alone, they do so at several places, 24×7, which are inviting massive media coverage.
In Bengaluru, hundreds of women began a sit-in fashioned on Shaheen Bagh. On Friday, they decided to extend the sit-in for more time.
The BJP government has been saying that the fears of the protesters are unfounded and the act is not taking away the citizenship of anyone, but not many are convinced. In Madhya Pradesh, 80 Muslim members of the party sent in their resignations to the newly inducted party president JP Nadda on Friday. They said that no one paid any heed to their concerns and they thought the act was divisive and based on religious prejudices.
A few days ago, home minister Amit Shah reiterated that the government will not backtrack. The Supreme Court also refused to stay the new law, and stated that it first wanted to hear the views of the government. The protesters, however, say that they would continue demonstrations until the law is repealed.