By Pervez Bari
BHOPAL: The intended fall out of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was visible when Bharat Bandh on Wednesday was observed. The Bandh which evoked mixed response in Madhya Pradesh as elsewhere in the country must have warmed the cockles of the heart of the ruling BJP at the Centre while seeing non-Muslims defying the bandh call and going on with their business as usual.
Bharat bandh call was given by Bahujan Kranti Morcha against NRC (National Register of Citizen) which was supported by many organisations.
Seeing the bandh not being effective all over in totality the ruling clan must have felt that their ultimate goal of marginalising the Muslims and the other undesirable communities is achievable. These communities are not fit in the scheme of things when Manusmriti replaces Indian Constitution in the game plan of saffron brigade probably by 2024.
Meanwhile, in the evening at the end of Bharat Bandh thousands of protestors gathered at the historic Iqbal Maidan and raised slogans against the CAA and NRC. Anti-CAA rallies from different organisations including Bahujan Kranti Morcha from different parts of city converged at the venue wherein since January 1, 2020 round the clock“Satyagrah”is in place heralded by youth and women in particular against CAA-NP-NRC.
At Iqbal Maidan Dr. Ghani Ahmad Khan, a retired government official was among the protesters present wrapped in a “Kafan” (shroud). He appeared on the scene with a poster which read: “Ready to Accept Kafan, Not Ready to Leave Our Watan India”. He fervently declared that he has come to the venue wearing “Kafan” after completing all his worldly and family liabilities and ready to kiss death for the cause withdrawal of CAA-NP-NRC. Local MLA Arif Masood and leaders of various outfits also addressed the gathering.
The protestors demanded to recall the law in favour of communal harmony of the nation and also to respect the Constitution which teaches the countrymen that they are not divided in caste or religion. The protestors had placards and black balloons in their hands stating ‘No NRC, No CAA’.
In Bhopal, Capital of Madhya Pradesh, most of the shops of old city area like Chowk Bazaar, Peer Gate, Lakherapura and other area remained open. However, in Muslim localities witnessed more support for the shutdown in terms of closure of shops. On the other hand the shops of the New Market, MP Nagar and Bittan Market and other remained opened as usual but the shoppers did not reach those shops. The movement of shoppers was less than normal in both the old and new city. Sources said that some shops were closed for personal reasons, but they declaring their support to CAA and NRC by affixing posters.
Meanwhile, few of the women along with the children made a human chain carrying the posters ‘No CAA, No NRC’. The traffic on city roads was less to the average as of other days, and also the local transport affected as the commuters were in less in number.
District administration made huge security arrangements to ward off any untoward incident in the city. Police team started patrolling early in the morning, some of the schools remained closed, but major school functioned as usual. The police hade deputed around 2,500 security personnel to secure the city, barricades were raised place to place and every vehicle was checked.
In Indore shops and other establishments remained shut in Khajrana, Bombay Bazaar, Barwali Chowki, Chandan Nagar, Sirpur and some other areas. However, establishments and major markers in other areas of the city were operating as usual. Normal life largely remained unaffected due to the bandh.
The bandh also evoked mixed response in Raisen city, about 44 kms from the state capital, Raisen’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Monika Shukla said. While bandh did not affect normal life in Gwalior.
Meanwhile, in Jabalpur, which had witnessed violence during an anti-CAA protest earlier this month, remained peaceful during the bandh. Although the bandh did not have much impact in most of parts of the city, shops remained shut in Gohalpur, Raddi Chowk, Char Khamba and Madar Tekri areas.