LUCKNOW: Women at Lucknow's clock tower continue to brave January's cold weather as their protest entered the fifth day on Tuesday against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
Meanwhile, police have registered three FIRs in connection with the ongoing protest, which began on January 17 last week.
"We are on indefinite protest until anyone from the government comes and talks to us. Amit Shah is coming to Lucknow today. He is saying people are misled. He should speak on it. It is our Constitutional right to protest. There are FIRs against 150 people," said a protestor.
The protesters, mostly Muslim women clad in burqas, were seen holding placards that read "No CAA No NRC No NPR We Reject", "You can't impose 144 on our speech, freedom and truth" and "Fight for an equal India".
"We are protesting against the CAA and NPR. This is our country. They cannot ask for proof of our citizenship. We will live here. Something has happened in the country under the Modi government that women have to come out of their country. Our future is not safe. I am here for my children. We will not go from here until the CAA, NPR and NRC are withdrawn," a woman protester told ANI.
Protesters have alleged that police have taken away their blankets.
"The police have taken away our blankets. We will be here until the government takes it (CAA) back. Ladies stay awake the whole night. Washrooms and lights are closed at night which is creating problems for us," another protester said.
The FIRs were lodged as Union Home Minister Amit Shah to address a rally in support of the CAA in Lucknow on Tuesday.
The rally will be held at the Ram Katha Park in Bangla Bazaar area of the state capital.
According to BJP sources, Shah might even present some refugees and narrate their tales of woe that had made them flee from neighbouring countries.
This is the third pro-CAA rally by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh. Similar rallies have been held in Varanasi on January 18 and in Gorakhpur on January 19.
A pro-CAA rally will be held on Wednesday in Meerut which will be addressed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will address a rally in Kanpur on Thursday.
Newly elected BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda will address a rally in Agra on Thursday.
Women students of AMU join CAA protests on campus
The women students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh have now joined the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests on the campus.
As the university reopened on Monday after a prolonged winter break, the students of the women's college boycotted classes on Monday, demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellor, registrar and proctor over the university's failure to protect students from police excesses on the campus on December 15.
The women students, who later took out a protest march on the campus with "azadi" slogans, have also announced that their boycott will continue till the officials step down.
They also urged the administration to revoke the false charges and cases against the students.
Shaheen, a woman student, said that they would continue the boycott till AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor and Registrar Abdul Hamid quit their posts. She added that they have submitted a memorandum, addressed to the President of India, through the principal of the college.
The students of law, life sciences, commerce, science and agriculture faculties of the AMU have also joined the women students' protest.
They urged the Union government to immediately roll back the Citizenship (Amendment) Act stating that it is against the pluralistic foundations of India and tarnishes the principle of equality in the country.
Mohammad Ghiasuddin, a court member of life science department said: "We believe that the CAA is a divisive law that was principally brought after Assam NRC to accommodate the Hindus who could not make it into the list due to lack of documents. The Act deliberately kept the Muslims out of the loop to send an 'Islamophobic' message to the nation. We reject the BJP's hatred for Muslims and want the Union government to roll back the CAA."
The protesters have demanded that the National Population Register (NPR) exercise should be stopped immediately claiming that the initiative is the first step towards a nationwide National Register of Citizens.
The students said: "The CAA, NRC and NPR combine is anti-poor, anti-Dalit and anti-minority. A large section of Indians are poor and even homeless. They cannot even afford to obtain documents to prove citizenship."
They further stated that the police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) used disproportionate force against students during the violence on the AMU campus on December 15. The students have sought stringent action against the guilty.
They said that the campus is not safe under an insecure administration and demanded that the Vice-Chancellor must resign along with his team so that students can go back to the classrooms.
(With IANS Inputs)