R-Day CAA dissent blooms, mayor calls for ordered stir | Kolkata News

Kolkata: On Republic Day eve, anti-CAA protesters in Kolkata and Howrah went about their preparations for the D-Day when they will join a human chain in the first half and participate in cultural functions reflecting the Freedom struggle in the second. However, police have not given permission for the human chain as they do not want the general public to be inconvenienced by traffic restrictions. Mayor Firhad Hakim, too, expressed concern over attempts to block roads to protest against NRC and CAA. He instead called for a united voice from a single platform that would register a stronger protest.
“This is not the right approach. If somebody has to register his/her protests against NRC or CAA, they are welcome to join our platform. Our CM has been relentlessly airing her grievance against the anti-people policies adopted by the Centre,” Hakim said.
On Saturday afternoon, cops stepped in at the protest site near New Market and forced the protesters who have been squatting right in the middle of the road to shift the platform to a corner. Later, the deputy commissioner of the central division held a meeting with OCs of Burrabazar, Posta, Maidan and New Market police stations to chalk out a plan to prevent activists from blocking roads to hold agitations.
The agitators on Hogg Street vowed to carry on with the protests for at least four days more. At Park Circus, the protests in the Maidan entered the 12th day on Saturday and showed no signs of abating. The participants there and at Ekbalpore, Zakaria Street and Howrah’s Pilkhana are eager to usher in Republic Day with flag hoisting in the morning and then travel to the nearest point between Golpark and Shyambazar to join the human chain.
“The human chain is an innovative idea to send out a message that we are united in our fight against the draconian CAA and the proposed NRC and NPR,” said Irfan Ali Taj, one of the organizers of the sit-in at Zakaria Street.
At Nawab Ali Park in Ekbalpore, protesters plan to bring out a peace rally in the evening that will have participation from people of all faiths. “We want a dialogue with every section of the society. It is important that the right message is sent out that it is not any particular community but the Constitution which is being threatened,” said Arshad Parvez Khan, one of the organizers.
At Howrah’s Pilkahana, members of the civil society are invited to speak on CAA and NRC to the gathering in the evening. “People should have a clear idea what they are protesting against. This is why we are organising awareness camps almost on a daily basis,” said one of the organizers.
At Park Circus Maidan, where the sit-in started on January 7, cultural programmes are scheduled in the evening. “Several students, artists and intellectuals are expected to arrive in the evening. We are going to sing patriotic songs and make posters,” said one of the organizers.

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