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Protesters urge NRC boycott

The NGO United Against Hate called for gheraos of the offices of the parties and the homes of MPs who vote for the bill

By Our Special Correspondent in New Delhi

  • Published 8.12.19, 2:52 AM
  • Updated 8.12.19, 2:52 AM
People participate in a torch light procession to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Gauhati, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019.
People participate in a torch light procession to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Gauhati, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. AP

Protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, set to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, have called for a boycott of any National Register of Citizens update if extended outside Assam.

A demonstration by the NGO United Against Hate in Delhi on Saturday also called for gheraos of the offices of the parties and the homes of MPs who vote for the bill.

While the BJP has promised to update the NRC across the country to detect illegal immigrants, particularly from Bangladesh, it is looking to facilitate citizenship for the non-Muslims among them through the citizenship bill.

“A year ago, NGOs had offered help to people to collect the documents required to prove their citizenship in Assam. Even a three-time Muslim MLA was left out of the NRC,” Nadeem Khan of United Against Hate said.

“Now, after the majority of those excluded from the NRC have turned out to be Hindus, the government wants a fresh NRC all over India. Until they get the results they want, they will continue this process.”

He added: “The NRC and the CAB are two sides of the same coin. The objective is to disfranchise Muslims. If five crore of us boycott the NRC, they do not have jails big enough to keep all of us.

“If the political parties that throw iftar parties support the CAB next week, we will protest outside their offices. If MPs who get our votes vote for the CAB, we will gherao their homes.”

Congress MP Mohammad Jawed said: “India has never seen such continuous tension and repeated attempts to tear the country’s secular fabric…. Yes, they are doing Hindu appeasement, but the greater truth is that these people are Muslim haters.”

Before the meeting on Jantar Mantar road, a flash mob of dancers had enacted a Chilean anthem against rape. Students from JNU and other educational institutions made up most of the audience.

Speaking at the event, Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav said: “Yes, secularism has been attacked before. It is weak but this is still a secular country. If Parliament makes the CAB a law next week, we can no longer raise our heads and say that India is a secular country. They are trying to make us a Hindu Pakistan.”

Several other protests have been announced against the bill next week.

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