A smattering of Bollywood personalities, including Farhan Akhtar, made out a strong case against the Act and the NRC. (Photo Credit: Twitter/ANI)
Thousands of people gathered at Mumbai's August Kranti Maidan, the place where in 1942 Mahatma Gandhi told the then British rulers to quit India, to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Thursday. The gathering included workers of political parties, students and also a smattering of Bollywood personalities, including Farhan Akhtar, who made out a strong case against the Act and the NRC.
Throwing their wrists in the air with slogans like Modi Shah se azaadi and with anger in their voice, the protesters marched towards the Maidan in Grant Road.
Noted freedom fighter GG Parikh, 94, who participated in the Quit India movement in 1942, was present at the Maidan. Also in attendance were politicians Raj Babbar, Hussain Dalwai and Milind Deora.
College students, IT professionals and members of various communities also participated in the protest. Film writer Shahid Mirza asked the crowd what would they choose: Ambedkar or Golwalkar, Bhagat Singh or Savarkar, to which the crowd responded: Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh.
Actor Farhan Akhtar at August Kranti Maidan, Mumbai where protest against #CitizenshipAct is on: To raise your voice against something is democratic right, people are raising their voices & I'm of view that there seems to be a certain amount of discrimination in what is happening pic.twitter.com/97AYTnVaxO— ANI (@ANI) December 19, 2019
Actor Sushant Singh thanked students for participating in the protests. "We will follow the path of Mahatma Gandhi and we will fight with non-violence," he said.
Protesters shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
"Tanashahi nahi chalegi (dictatorship won't work)," they said.
Thousands of students from various parts of the city, members of various communities and political parties were seen marching towards the Maidan carrying placards, banners and handbills in their hands.
Some of the placards read "Hindu-Muslim ek hain, Modi Shah fake hain, "Sab taj uchhale jayenge, sab takht giraye jayenge", "Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hain" and "Stop dividing India".
#Photos | Thousands of people gathered at Mumbai's iconic August Kranti Maidan, the place where Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 had told the then British rulers to quit India, to protest against the #CitizenshipAmendmentAct— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) December 19, 2019
Read full story: https://t.co/aaQLYGbRb4 pic.twitter.com/Flj91H5r7X
Similar protests were held in Pune, Nagpur and various other cities in Maharashtra. Members of Muslim community organised anti-CAA protests in Malegaon in Nashik district and at Paratwada in Amravati distrit.
In Jalgaon, Left parties held a protest march to the district collectorate to oppose the Act. A morcha was held in Aurangabad against the Act. Anti-CAA protests were also held in Kolhapur and Osmanabad.
The ABVP held pro-CAA marches in Pune and Aurangabad. A similar protest in favour of the Act was held at Churchagte in Mumbai.
The Mumbai Traffic Police advised commuters to take alternate routes and diversions around August Kranti Maidan and issued traffic restrictions from Nana Chowk and Kemps Corner.
Drones, riot control police and, SRPF personnel were deployed at the August Kranti Maidan.
"With respect to agitations scheduled by some political parties against the Citizenship Amendment Act, to keep social harmony, peace and free flow of traffic some arrangements of traffic diversions were made," an official said.
Traffic police barred entry for vehicles from Nana Chowk Junction to Kemps Corner Signal, while the vehicle's coming from Kennedy Bridge, Grant Road Bridge towards August Kranti Maidan, Kemps Corner were diverted through Nana Chowk Junction towards North and South Mumbai.
(With PTI inputs)