Thousands of people in Kolkata formed a 11-km human chain on Sunday to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens, The Indian Express reported.
The human chain stretched from Shyambazar in North Kolkata to Golpark in the city’s southern part. The protestors, who wore badges with the message “Say no to CAA, NRC”, read the Preamble of the Constitution and took a pledge to uphold the nation’s plurality. The protest was organised by United Interfaith Foundation India. The organisers said the event saw an “overwhelming response”.
“As January 26 is an important day for our Constitution, we wanted to uphold and celebrate everything that it talks about,” UIFI General Secretary Satnam Ahluwalia told the newspaper. “From freedom of religion, free speech to equality and fraternity, we pledge to protect it at all costs. For 72 years, there has been harmony and unity among all in this nation and we think there is no reason to disturb that peace and coexistence.”
The organisers said the human chain was a “beautiful example” of what the Constitution stands for. “We saw an overwhelming response, the turnout was way more than we expected,” Ahluwalia added. “As we demanded only 10 minutes from everyone, at some places, so many people turned up that we formed not one but multiple lines.”
People assembled around 15 major junctions in the city such as Park Circus seven-point crossing, Mullick Bazar, Ripon Street-AJC Bose Road crossing, Nonapukur, Raja Bazar and Maniktala. The protestors did not hamper traffic, and assembled only along the roads, the organisers added.
A similar protest was held in Kerala too. Almost seven million people joined hands to form a massive human chain to protest against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens. The 620-km human chain extended from the Kasaragod town square in the north to the state’s southernmost tip. The protest was organised by the ruling Left Democratic Front.