Image Courtesy: thehansindia.com
Thousands of Mumbaikars are expected to gather at August Kranti Maidan, the historic site from where the Quit India movement began in 1942, to voice their dissent against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
This is going to be the third such major protest in Mumbai after the ones that took place at the Mumbai University and Carter Road. The crowd at August Kranti Maidan here is expected to surpass any at similar protests given how this is the first time coalition partners Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena are expected to make a joint appearance. Momentum has been building on various social media platforms for days. Organisers had initially sought permission for Girgaum Chaowpaty as the venue of the protest, but police denied permission.
Fearing an escalation of violence like that at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) protest, where university authorities alleged that many non-students, outsiders and vested interests had infiltrated the protest, the Mumbai police is apprehensive of something similar taking place, and is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the protest remains peaceful. Several companies of the Riot Police and the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been pressed into service. An officer told Indian Express, “Drones will be deployed to check if anyone tries to cause any damage. A team will be scanning through the footage and as soon as anything suspicious is found, the officers on ground would be informed about the same.” Special traffic and parking arrangements have also been made. A Mumbai Police press note detailing the same may be viewed here:
And protests have only intensified across India. After the protest in Patna on Sunday, many similar protests have taken place in other areas of Bihar such as Purnia, Nalanda, Banka, Kishanganj, Araria and Siwan. A bandh or shut down call has been given across Bihar today. Permissions for large gatherings have been denied in many parts of Uttar Pradesh. A protest call has been given by the Samajwadi party. Meanwhile, prohibitory orders have been issued across Karnataka till December 21. The decision was taken in wake of fresh anti-CAA protests erupting across the state. Police have also denied permission for protest march planned from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Metro trains will also not halt at many railway stations near areas such as Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk.
Meanwhile, NDTV reports that two students; Ajaz, a 22-year-old BA student, and Shoaib Khan, a 23-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU) have sustained bullet injuries. This debunks the Delhi police’s claim of exercising maximum restraint. Delhi remained on the edge after thousands clashed with the police during the protest at Seelampur two days ago.