Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram joined the ongoing anti-CAA stir in Kolkata's Park Circus and assured the gathering that his party was with them. Chidambaram arrived at the Park Circus Maidan late on Friday while he was in the city on a party assignment.
The protestors surrounded him raising slogans against the Centre's BJP-led government. The former Finance Minister spent some time with the protestors, and was seen smilingly as he interacted some of them.
The Park Circus gathering, being described as Kolkata's own version of Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, has brought together primarily Muslim women who have been on a sit-in against the CAA, NRC and NPR for 12 days.
On January 7, taking a page out of the Shaheen Bagh gathering, some women from the largely muslim neighbourhood in Park Circus descended on the local park expressing their anxiety, disappointment and anger about the goings on in the country.
They started a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, a proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register exercise, as also the "state repression" on the anti-CAA protestors in Uttar Pradesh.
Their stock grew as the days passed. First their friends, families and acquaintances came, followed by women belonging to all societal strata from various areas of the city -- be it Topsia, Ripon Street, Khiddirpore, Metiaburuz or Prinice Anwar Shah Road.
Top professionals like medicos, lawyers, teachers, professors, to those earning a living by cooking or washing utensils in others' homes -- everybody is joining in, and the numbers continue to go up every day.