Lucknow: As protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed implementation of the National Register of Citizens at the iconic Clock Tower in Lucknow entered fifth day, hundreds of lawyers extended their support to the agitation and vowed to uphold values of the Constitution.
Amid heavy security, including deployment of Rapid Action Force personnel, at the iconic Husainabad Clock Tower, locally popular as ‘Ghantaghar’, the lawyers, both men and women, took oath of the Constitution and promised to protect its principles till their last breath.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister and former BJP president Amit Shah told at a pro-CAA rally in the state capital the nationwide protests can continue, but the government would not go back on the latest amendment to the Citizenship Act that grants citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from neighbouring countries.
On Monday evening, three FIRs were lodged against the mass gathering, mostly comprising Muslim women, at the Thakurganj Police Station.
One of the complaints named the daughter of noted poet Munawwar Rana as a protester at the site. The agitation that started on Friday with a handful of people, have swelled to thousands.
Rana said those who have taken to the streets across the country are not just Muslim women, but all those citizens who feel something wrong is happening in the country.
“On the one hand, the government says it cares for Muslim women and even terms them as sisters. On the other hand, their blankets are being taken away, toilets are being locked and food packets are being snatched,” he said.
A video of policemen taking away blankets and food supplies meant for protestors went viral on the social media, inviting widespread criticism. Soon after, the Lucknow Police issued a clarification, saying a few people had tried to put up sheets, using ropes and sheets, during the ‘illegal protest’ at Ghantaghar.
Support from locals in the form of water bottles, food packets and medicines continued to pour in for the protestors who are braving cold weather for the last five days.
“A few organisations were distributing blankets near the protest spot, which attracted people who were not even a part of the protest. Police removed the people who were distributing blankets along with the blankets. Kindly don’t spread any rumours,” it said in a tweet.
Muslim protestors attend a 'hawan' being peformed by Hindu priests during a demonstration against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC, in Prayagraj on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, anti-CAA protesters, who have been staging a stir in Prayagraj for the last eight days, found support from seers at the ongoing Magh Mela.
The seers, who are on a ‘kalpvas’ at Sangam, not only termed the new law as divisive but also said a ‘Buddhi Shuddhi Yajna’ for the government will be performed soon. The priests, who were reportedly from the Udaseen Akhada in Madhya Pradesh, visited the protesters at Mansoor Ali Park on Monday.
Amid chants of ‘Hindu-Muslim Zindabad’, ‘Sadhu Samaj Zindabad’, ‘Bhartiya Samvidhan Zindabad’, Santoshanand Maharaj from the ‘akhada’ said, “The entire seer and saint community stands with peaceful protesters. CAA is against the Constitution and it is a threat to communal harmony and unity of Indians. People of all faiths should join the protests in a peaceful manner.”