Asserting their right to peaceful protest, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMAA) on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must immediately announce scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and slammed the imposition of Section 144 in Delhi and several Indian states to block protests, a spokesperson said.
BMMA chief Zakia Soman urged Modi to assure citizens that the CAA-NRC will never be implemented in the country, and condemned the police atrocities against students in the national capital's Jamia Milia and Aligarh Muslim University.
She called upon the Prime Minister to unequivocally announce that the CAA and NRC will not be implemented now or in future with an assurance to all citizens, especially Muslims, that they will not be subjected to an NRC witch-hunt as witnessed in Assam.
"Muslim women members of BMMA have joined the nationwide protests. However, our right to peaceful and democratic protest has been violated by imposing Section 144 in Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu," Zoman said.
She accused the police of refusing permissions for peaceful protests at various locations, besides imposing restrictions, which "is a gross violation of our democratic right to speak out our minds".
"We condemn this high-handedness of various governments in an attempt to suppress the voices of dissent. Ordinary people, women and men are being coerced into silence with the help of police and by undemocratic methods," Soman said.
The BMMA has demanded that the CAA must be revoked with immediate effect and all sections of Indian citizenry must be reassured that that there will be no tinkering in any manner with their citizenship.
Soman also urged the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission of Minorities, National Commission of Women and their state counterparts, to intervene for upholding the citizens' right to peaceful democratic protest.