Mumbai: City's cricket fans queuing up for India versus Australia One Day International (ODI) on Tuesday were in for a rude shock when stadium's security began turning back people in black clothing. Their logic: Spectators may use them to protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
The incident came to light after journalist Rahul Desai tweeted about it.
"I'm at the Wankhede Stadium today. The colour Black is being banned (t-shirts, caps, anything) because it's a "symbol of protest, (sic)" he tweeted.
Speaking to Firstpost, he said, "I faced this ban at Gate 5. I saw guys being turned away. My black cap was confiscated. I then asked a friend to carry it in her purse, which they allowed."
Desai was categorically told that black is a 'colour of protest', and hence not allowed in the stadium. However, neither the MCA website, nor the match tickets mention any such instructions. MCA secretary Sanjay Naik could not be reached for a comment at the time of writing this story.
"A friend of mine in a black t-shirt was allowed to go in once he covered himself with the tri-colour he was carrying," Desai added.
Another cricket fan, Ayush Dhanwade, was turned back from the north gate of the stadium for wearing a black t-shirt. Dhanwade had to purchase an Indian cricket team's jersey in order to get in, but even that didn't make his life easier.
"I came to the stadium at 12 pm. Guards told me black t-shirts are not allowed, so I had to go to purchase an Indian team's jersey from outside the stadium. I wore my black t-shirt under the India jersey, but upon returning to the gate, the guards insisted I take off my black t-shirt from underneath my India jersey. I had to comply," he said.
Another spectator, who didn't wish to be named, was asked to remove his black cap. "I was wearing a black cap, and was told I can't enter the ground because of it. They said I may use it to protest against the CAA. I was allowed only after I took it off. I think it is extremely shameful, even though, personally, I am with the government on CAA," he said.
The controversial CAA, that was notified on 10 January, grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities who moved to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan on or before 31 December 2014, owing to religious persecution.
The law has met with countrywide protests for its selection bias, and the government has responded with brutal police action. Earlier in the day, Kerala government moved the Supreme Court challenging the Act.
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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2020 16:47:21 IST