A few protestors staging demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act in “Mumbai Bagh” were detained briefly on Monday morning. Among those detained was gender rights activist Trisha Shetty. The detainees were taken to Nagpada police station around 11.30 am, and released around 2 pm.
“Three or four people had been detained by Nagpada police a couple of hours ago, but everyone has now been released,” Aamir Edresy, one of the organisers of the protest, told Scroll.in. “The police is trying to create an environment of fear in order to evacuate protestors, and they have gheraoed the area. But we are continuing our protest and a group of us will go to meet the [state] home minister to discuss this matter.”
Activist and lawyer Shetty accused the police of targeting her “for exercising my fundamental right to peacefully protest against CAA/ NRC”. She added that police violated her rights. Shetty said she will also share a video update on what happened.
More than 100 women and men began an indefinite sit-in on a street in a residential area of Mumbai Central on January 26. Several more protesters joined the group on Monday morning. Titled “Mumbai Bagh”, the protest has been inspired by Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, where hundreds of women have been protesting the new Citizenship Act continually for last six weeks.
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act are continuing across the country, more than a month after it was passed in Parliament. The amendments, notified on January 10, provide citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.
The government’s critics and some protestors fear that the amended law and the National Register of Citizens will be misused to target Muslims since the Citizenship Act now has religion as a criterion. There are now fears that a nation-wide National Register of Citizens will be imposed. The Assam NRC had left out around 6% of the state’s population. Work has also begun on the National Population Register, which is the first step to creating an all-Indian NRC identifying undocumented migrants residing in India.