Shaheen Bagh Style Protests Spread Across India – A Report from Kolkata

Symbolic Image (PC-The Indian Express)

Mirza Mosaraf Hossain,

The model of protest at Shaheen Bagh is spreading across the country now. In Kolkata, the local women of Park Circus locality first started a sit in protest against CAA, NPR, and NRC at the 7 Point Crossing since 7th of January afternoon. Later on, more girl students from Jadhavpur University, Aliah University and other University students joined them along with male participants. To keep the power and mass of the protests going, the girl students, especially of Aliah University and those who stay at the Muslim Girls’ Hostel, one kilometer away from the protesting place, are joining on a shift basis all day and night. reports from Park Circus.

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Protestors in Kolkata Gather In The Park Circus Locality

Initially there were no arrangements of any sheds above the heads of the protesters or, no bio-toilets. The women had to spend chilly nights under the open sky. The Police and Kolkata Municipality didn’t allow it until the tenth day of the ongoing protest, when they finally got the facilities. 

Many national and local figures have been visiting the site. Umar Khalid of JNU, Yogendra Yadav have already expressed their solidarity by being present there. Also, the vaeteran Bengali singer and former M.P of Jadavpur, Kabir Suman, sang nationalist songs along with the protesters to keep their spirits energized. 

Local scholars like Baby Nazmin of West Bengal State University, who when asked why she was there, had the following to say. “I participated along with those women who are from poor families and running their families; they find it very difficult. Because this is the time to fight collectively; the fight is all of ours, and not for few people. 

She added, “Our protest is an attempt to protect our country from the BJP and their formulation of laws; and it will be continued until they take it back.”

A significant portion of the protestors at Park Circus were Women

Videos from ground.

“We are here in solidarity with those women who seldom come out of their homes but now they felt it is the need of the hour to come on the streets and protest against the CAA, NPR, NRC. Some of us manage our classes in the day and come to sit beside them and some of others among us come in the evening and stay till late night as we also have managed our hostel wardens to permit us to join this protest.  We have been following the same routine for the last 10 days since the sit in protest started..” – Masuma Sarkar, a student, said.

Rifat Ara Khatun, another student of Aliah University, a regular participant, said, “We are protesting for the cause of the nNation. CAA NRC is against the Constitution which we strongly condemn and reject. At the same time we are in solidarity with Jamia, AMU and JNU. Students are the future of the nation…attacks on them will inevitably bring about anarchy. We are here because we want an undivided and peaceful nation” 

The termination of the protest depends on the Supreme Court’s hearing that is scheduled to be tabled on January 22. If it goes in favor of the government, protestors say the protest would continue for an indefinite time.