Coronavirus Outbreak: Mumbaibagh protest hit

Mumbai: Following the announcement of a state-wide lockdown as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 outbreak, the women at Nagpada’s Morland Road dubbed as Mumbaibagh are fearing suspension of their protest.

“Many of our leaders stay in the suburban parts of the city. Presently, only the local women are present here. If we don’t get a leader to guide us, we don’t know how far the protest is going to last,” said Sadia Qureshi, a protester.

Presently, there are only 25 women at the venue who will be continuing the protest on a rotational basis.

“Only 25 women will be allowed in the venue who will continue with the protest on a rotational basis to ensure that there is distance between protesters,” added Qureshi.

After the lockdown was announced, many of the leading protesters went back to their residents, which are in the suburban parts of the city. The protest venue in Nagpada is only connected with the suburban railways.

“We have decided to go back as with a statewide lockdown, it won’t be possible for us travel to the southern part of the city regularly. However there are some women present at the venue who are local residents and now its their call whether they want to carry on the protest” said a senior protester, who had been spearheading the movement since first day.

Meanwhile, on the early hours of Sunday, the protest gathering was been downgraded, after officers of the Nagpada police station, interceded on the issue. The protesters claimed, on the intervening night of March 21 and 22, senior officers of Nagpada police station approached the committee of women and asked them to roll back the protest immediately.

“Police inspectors approached us last night and asked us to suspend the protest as there is risk of the virus getting spread, so the women decided to downgrade the protest for the greater good” said Tarannum Baig, a protester.

“At present there are only 25 protester, this low number may hit the morale of the protesters and the movement may be called off” Baig added.

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Free Press Journal