Pune : Over 50,000 people protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

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Sumit Singh

Pune, December 29, 2019: A massive rally of over 50,000 people from different communities participated in ‘Maha Rally’ to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

A group of various organisation, under the aegis of ‘Kul Jamate Tanzeem’ and ‘CAA and NRC Virodhi Maharally Niyojan Samiti’, organised the rally which began from Golibar Maidan in Camp area and concluded at the Council Hall chowk. The protesters shouted slogans against CAA and held placards with messages like”We Reject CAA and NRC”, “Stop dividing India” and “Boycott CAA and NRC”, “We reject Modi Made Holocaust”.

Justice BG Kolse Patil, Ex-IAS officer Harsh Mander, student leader Umar Khalid, Republican Yuva Morcha president Rahul Dambale, Indian Muslim Front president Munnawar Qureshi, All India Muslim OBC organisation president Iqbal Ansari, AIMIM leader Maulana Zahid Shaikh, and other leaders addressed the protesters.

A memorandum of demands was also submitted to Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram. Read the memorandum below :

29 December 2019


The Collector

Pune District,



Subject: Memorandum to the Government of India and Government of Maharashtra against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (“CAA”), the National Population Register (“NPR”) and the National Register of Citizens (“NRC”).

Dear Mr. Naval Kishore Ram,

On 10 December 2019, the parliament passed the CAA which was subsequently assented to by the President of India on 12 December 2019. It amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing an expedited path to Indian citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The CAA excludes persecuted Muslims from this benefit thereby rendering the CAA discriminatory, arbitrary and outright communal.

The NPR was introduced in the country in 2003, and the first register was created in 2010 along with the then census. This was done via Section 14(a) of the 2003 amendment that states that the government may maintain a national register of citizens and a population register. The current NPR exercise asks a person where their parents were born, Aadhaar details, driver’s licence, voter identity card and mobile number “if available”. The same was not done in the 2010 NPR exercise. Further the current NPR exercise gives the authority wide and unchecked discretion to declare a person as a “doubtful citizen”.

The last leg in the unholy trinity is the NRC. The government seeks to build a register of citizens in the manner carried out in Assam. There have been multiple conflicting statements in what the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the rules and regulations are saying about this nation-wide exercise. In a country where millions of people don’t have access to their own basic documents, the government expects the citizens to prove that they and their parents are Indian citizens based on a set of documents beyond a set cut-off date.

Therefore, we humbly demand for the following:

The Government of India bring a bill to the parliament to repeal Section 14(a) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

A separate comprehensive refugee law be brought in along the lines of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees as passed in the United Nations to provide for a non-discriminatory refugee law.

The Government of India withdraw the notifications prescribing the NPR 2020 and re-introduce it without the extra NRC-centric questions being asked to residents of India.

Until the above is done, the Government of Maharashtra would issue a stop-work order on the NPR 2020 exercise for Maharashtra.

No coercive action be taken against students and protesters arrested or detained for exercising their democratic right to raise their voice against the CAA-NPR-NRC nexus.

We hope that the above reasonable demands would find favour with our elected representatives and administration.”