Hindu-Muslim colour given to anti-CAA stir: NE protesters at Jantar Mantar

NEW DELHI, Dec 22: People from the Northeast gathered at Jantar Mantar here on Sunday, claiming that the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) are being given a Hindu-Muslim colour and the voices from the region fighting for the rights of the indigenous people are being ignored.
The protesters, including students and civil society members, said they were deeply hurt and distressed by the police brutality on those against the CAA, “but our protest is about our rights.”
“We will not let others hijack our agenda. We are here to speak about our people. You cannot always ask one to take more people,” Tripura’s royal scion, Pradyot Deb Barman, who was also present, said.
“We respect their protest. We sympathize with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. It does not matter if you are a Hindu or a Muslim; the CAA is going to trigger a massive demographic change in the Northeast,” a protester said.
“I am sure if Muslims are included in the list of communities to be granted citizenship through the CAA, they will not protest. But we will protest anyway,” she added.
Ningthem Meitei, 23, said the movement against the CAA started from Assam, but “it has been hijacked in a way. We are not being represented.”
“We condemn the violence against students and unarmed protesters. We stand with all those protesting against the CAA. But our protest is also about the demographic challenges confronting us,” he said.
For the people of the Northeast, the issue of the CAA goes beyond Hindus and Muslims, Denis (25) said.
“In Tripura, the indigenous people account for only 30 percent of the population. People from other regions and neighbouring countries are migrating to the state,” he said.
The protesters also demanded that police release RTI activist Akhil Gogoi and others arrested for demonstrating against the CAA. (PTI)