'It's do-or-die battle': Women protesters at Kolkata's Park Circus Maidan to continue anti-CAA stir till favourable outcome

  • Terming protests agaisnt CAA and proposed NRC as a do-or-die battle, women demonstrators at Park Circus Maidan in Kolkata, say the stir will continue till there is a judgement in their favour

  • The protesters were referring to 59 petitions on CA which are scheduled for a hearing at the Supreme Court on 22 January

  • The sit-in by the women, ranging from homemakers to professionals, against the CAA, and the proposed NRC on the lines of the Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi, entered its 12th day in Kolkata on Saturday

Kolkata: About 60 Muslim women are determined to carry on with their demonstration indefinitely at the Park Circus Maidan in Kolkata to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) till there is a "favourable judgement".

The sit-in by the women, ranging from homemakers to professionals, against the CAA, and the proposed NRC on the lines of the Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi, entered its 12th day in Kolkata on Saturday.

One of the protesters Nauseen Baba Khan, a young research scholar, speaking to PTI at the dharna site, said, "It is a do-or-die battle. We will peacefully squat here till there is a judgement in our favour."

 Its do-or-die battle: Women protesters at Kolkatas Park Circus Maidan to continue anti-CAA stir till favourable outcome

Anti-CAA protesters at Kolkata's Park Circus Maidan. Twitter@Madhurima_ML

Referring to the Supreme Court having fixed a bunch of 59 petitions on CAA, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, for hearing on 22 January, she said, "Let us see. Don't want to comment on judicial matters but if the situation does not turn in our favour, we will continue to sit here."

Another woman participant Farhat Islam, a homemaker, said, "We have been sitting in the open, braving the cold, using the ladies toilet in the nearby mosque located 100 metres away, for the past 10 days, but did not ever think about quitting."

The prime minister had said 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' and now the BJP wants to turn bonafide Indians into second class citizens in the name of the CAA, she said.

"It is a challenge to the right to life, right to livelihood, and we can't take this. When your citizenship is gone — your money, property and job — everything becomes useless. It is another way of killing us. We are happy that the civil society is here to support us," Farhat said.

After 10 days of the sit-in, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Authorities have provided three-four bio-toilets and other basic amenities for the women at the sprawling Park Circus Maidan on 17 January, she added.

Nauseen said, "We don't want cash, we have strictly asked everyone not to chip in with monetary help. We ask everyone to come physically and we are happy that thousands of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and members of other communities are turning up at the spot daily."

To a question about the hardship being faced by them for sitting in the open since 7 January, Farhat said, "Doctors from different hospitals visit us regularly to monitor our condition.

"Students from schools, colleges and universities such as Aliah University, Calcutta University, Presidency University, Jadavpur University and Surendranath College, have provided sanitary napkins while people in the area are extending every possible support."

A fruit-seller by profession, Arjun Tewary, said, "Our sisters are enduring so many difficulties to secure our rights."

"Isn't it our duty to be of help to them?" he asked.

Muzaffar Ali, a businessman from Beniapukur area, said that he rushes to the venue every evening with his friends to express solidarity.

Various personalities such as singer Kabir Suman, social activists Umar Khalid and Yogendra Yadav and former home minister P Chidambaram have already visited the venue to express their support to the protesters.

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Updated Date: Jan 18, 2020 20:13:37 IST