Lucknow: Women protestors staging a round-the-clock sit-in at the historic clock tower here against the CAA and the NRC have suspended their dharna in view of the coronavirus scare.
The 66-day-old protest was suspended early on Monday morning and the protesters went back to their houses. The protest stage was left intact, upon which women left their 'duppatas'; marking a symbolic return once the situation comes back to normal.
The women protestors have submitted a letter to the police commissioner, saying they were suspending their 66-day-long protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) temporarily in view of the outbreak.
Speaking to media on the suspension of the protest, daughter of poet Munawwar Rana, Summaiya Rana said, “We have decided to suspend the Ghantaghar protest as of now due to the pandemic of COVID-19 coming to India."
"CAA and NPR are internal issues of our country and we will protest against it once again after the situation gets normal. The main reason behind suspending this protest was the huge gathering which made difficult the idea of ‘social distancing’, hence we took this decision," she said.
Rana said the protesters had already been in talks with the Commissioner of Police, Lucknow, Sujit Pandey, who had also suggested the suspension of the protest for a few days.
They added that they would be back after the lockdown enforced by the government ends.
The Ghantaghar protest which started on the lines of Shaheen Bagh had been going on for last 66 days. The protest against CAA and NRC was initially started by a handful of women and eventually swelled as thousands turned up along with their children in solidarity.
Several FIRs were also lodged against the protesting women but that did not deter them. The Ghantaghar protest garnered support from different sections of the society -- Bollywood actors to lawyers, politicians and even religious leaders welcomed the agitation.