A group of students held protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai during Tuesday’s the one-day international cricket match between India and Australia men’s teams, PTI reported. The group wore white T-shirts with “No CAA”, “No NRC” and “No NPR” written on them, with an alphabet on each shirt.
The students, who were from the Mumbai Against CAA group, left before the end of the Indian innings. India were bowled out for 255 in 49.1 overs. Australia eventually won the match by 10 wickets.
“There were 26 persons in total and they were sitting in the Vijay Merchant Pavilion side,” said Fawad Ahmad, who participated in the protest. “They themselves vacated the stadium as Indian wickets were falling in a heap.”
A Mumbai Cricket Association official said the police had received “intelligence” that some groups were planning to hold an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest, The Indian Express reported. “We were apprised of the situation and that’s why police decided that no placards, banners will be allowed during the game,” he said. People wearing black clothing were also not allowed to enter the stadium, according to the newspaper. Fans who wore India blues over black clothes were escorted to restrooms.
However, an official from Mumbai Cricket Association’s apex council told PTI that black clothing was not banned. “There was no diktat about any colour,” he said. “No posters of any sort were permitted inside the stadium as it was the instruction from the local police.”
Citizenship Amendment Act, NRC and NPR
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed in Parliament on December 11 and notified on January 10, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered India by December 31, 2014. The Act sparked nationwide protests for excluding Muslims.
At least 26 people died during last month’s protests against the legislation – 19 in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.
The National Population Register is described by the Census of India as “the first step towards the creation of a National Register of Citizens”, which is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented immigrants. One such exercise, carried out in Assam last year, led to the exclusion of 19 lakh people. On December 24, the Union Cabinet approved more than Rs 3,900 crore to update the population register.