Thousands form human chain in Kolkata against CAA, NRC on Republic Day | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Thousands of people from different communities formed an 11-km-long human chain from north to south of the city on Sunday to protest against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens.
On the occasion of 71st Republic Day, people assembled around 15 junctions in the city from Shyambazar to Golpark to form the human chain for 10 minutes at noon.
Organised by United Interfaith Foundation India (UIFI), an inter-faith group comprising leaders of different religious communities in the state, the event witnessed an “overwhelming response” as people from all walks of life participated in it.
“People held the national flag, read out from the Preamble of the Constitution, chanted ‘Jana Gana Mana’, ‘Saare Jahan Se Achha, Hindustan Hamara’ and ‘Jai Hind’. They took the pledge to safeguard the tenets of the Constitution which calls for secularism, equality, non-discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, community,” UIFI General Secretary Satnam Ahluwalia said.
A sizeable section of the participants was the youth and women while many passers-by spontaneously took part in the programme.
“Large gatherings were at Ripon Street, Mullick Bazar, Park Street and Park Circus with children also holding hands of their parents,” he said.
Shabina, a woman standing in the human chain along with her 13-year-old son and husband at Raja Bazar crossing, said, “I have learnt about the programme only on Friday evening and decided to come with my family. We are Indians and remain united despite attempts to divide us.”
On the occasion of the Republic Day, left-wing students of universities and colleges in the city took out a rally from Nakhoda Masjid to Jorasanko, the birth place of Rabindranath Tagore.
Protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed NRC, they took a pledge that “they will not allow the country to be divided again”.
“Nakhoda Masjid represents cosmopolitan and inclusive character of Kolkata on Eid and other festivals while Tagore began his ‘padayatra’ against partition of Bengal from Jorasanko to Baghbazar in 1905. Hence, in the troubled times, we chose the two places,” Sayan Chakraborty, a student of Presidency University, said.
Rallies by the left organisations to save the Constitution and also protest against the CAA and the proposed NRC were also taken out in northern parts of the city on the day.

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