Hundreds of people on Saturday evening congregated outside Dadar railway station in Mumbai in support of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and raised slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The gathering was organised two days after a huge rally was held at the historic August Kranti Maidan in the metropolis to slam the new law which was also attended by Bollywood celebrities and others.
On the occasion, the organisers--'Sanvidhan Sanman Manch'--appealed to the citizens to peacefully support the CAA and proposed NRC (National Register of Citizens) exercise. The CAA grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants escaping religious persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The participants carried the national tricolour in their hands along with placards that read: "We want NRC", "We support CAA", and "CAA ke samarthan main rashtrabhakti maidan main" (Patriots in ground in support of the CAA).
They shouted slogans demanding implementation of the CAA and chanted "Modi, Modi". Slogans like "Bahar Nikalo Bahar Nikalo...Ghuspetiyon ko Bahar Nikalo (Remove infiltrators out of the country), and "CAA to zaki hai, NRC abhi Baki hai" (CAA is just trailer, NRC is imminent) rend the air.
"We are here not to protest but to support the CAA and NRC. We will conduct such rallies outside every railway station in Mumbai in the coming days," said Umesh Gaikwad, advisor, Sanvidhan Sanman Manch.
Commuters of suburban trains, however, faced inconvenience as the CAA supporters occupied the main road leading to one of the busiest railway stations in Mumbai. Over the last few days, the new law and the talks of the NRC brought out thousands of protesters on streets in many parts of the country.
The anti-CAA protests had turned violent in states like Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. where incidents of arson, stone-pelting and firing were reported in some areas. In Uttar Pradesh alone, 15 people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed since Thursday in violent agitations.
Similar protests were witnessed in Beed, Parbhani, Nanded and Hingoli districts of Marathawada region of Maharashtra on Friday, leaving at least a dozen persons injured in stone pelting.
The Union government has been trying to allay the fears over the implementation of the CAA, saying it is not aimed at targetting any particular religious community. A few states like Kerala, Bihar and West Bengal had opposed implementation of the CAA and the proposed NRC.