BJP vice president Haji Hyder Azam
BJP vice president Haji Hyder Azam

Mumbai: Mumbai Bagh protestors are set to meet a delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders soon to have a dialogue on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NCR) and National Population Register (NPR). The protests at Nagpada's Morland Road entered its 25th day on Thursday.

BJP vice president Haji Hyder Azam had written to the women on Tuesday, stating that the saffron party would like to have a dialogue with them and understand the purpose of their agitation.

"There is lot of confusion among the people regarding CAA, NPR and NRC. The women have come out on the streets at Morland Road. We wish to have a dialogue with them to understand the issue and explain them the government's stand on the whole matter," said Azam.

However, the protesters are hell bent on not leaving the venue to meet anyone, stating that the politicians would have to show up there if they want to have a dialogue.

"The protest started off at Morland Road, so people need to come here in case they want to have a dialogue with us. A delegation of women also met some politicians and requested them to urge the state government to take a stand against CAA, NRC and NPR, but it was of no use," said Aayesha Siddiqui, one of the women protesting at the Mumbai Baugh.

"Many politicians claimed to be our leaders initially, but they gave up on us when the police and BMC exerted pressure on us. As a result, we are not going to anyone. This is an all-woman protest and it will be continued by us until the government acts against the implementation of these policies," said Shazia Imrani.

Social activist Feroze Mithiborewala, who has been spearheading the movement since January 26, stated that he welcomes any dialogue and looks forward to having a healthy discussion.

"It's good the BJP has approached us. They are a ruling party at the centre and I am sure they will help us to reach out to home minister Amit Shah," stated Mithiborewala.

The activist also mentioned, no official dialogue has happened with the BJP officials yet, but soon a meeting will take place.

"It is not yet confirmed when the meeting will take place. But it will happen soon, as both the parties are eager to have this dialogue," added the activist.

Meanwhile, speculations rose on social media that the activists of Mumbai Bagh have been seeking donations in order to carry forward the protest. Commenting on this, Mithiborewala stated, "This is false and if anyone wants to donate aid for the protests, we would request them to do so in kind and not cash."

15 crore Muslims can be heavy on 100 crore Hindus: AIMIM leader

Bengaluru/Mumbai: Amid protests against the CAA, a video of AIMIM leader Waris Pathan from Byculla allegedly saying 15 crore Muslims can be heavy on 100 crore has gone viral, triggering a backlash from the BJP which said such threats do not work in new India.

He purportedly made these comments while addressing an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally at Kalaburagi in North Karnataka on February 16.

"We have to move together. We have to take Azadi (freedom), things that we don't get by asking, we have to take it by force, remember it," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul- Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader can be purportedly heard saying in Hindi.

"Now time has come, we are told that we have sent our mothers and sisters in the front and were sitting covered in blanket...only our lionesses have come out and you are already sweating, understand what will happen if we come together. (We may be) 15 crore, but are heavy on 100 (crore), remember it," he is heard saying. Pathan is said to be referring to the criticism against women, who are protesting against the CAA at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.

Hitting out at Pathan, the BJP's Karnataka unit said such threats do not work in new India. "Hiding behind children and women, legends are seeking "Azadi."

What more Azadi do they want? Aren't they enjoying every kind of Azadi since 1947? Waris Pathan and other leaders of AIMIM should come out of their Aurangzeb's World. These threats don't work in #NewIndia," it tweeted.

Ex-bureaucrat comes out with all guns blazing at Mumbai event

Mumbai: "It will be a privilege for me to go to jail, considering the present scenario of the country," said former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan on Thursday.

The bureaucrat-turned-activist was in Mumbai to speak at the event, 'Will 2020 be a defining year in history of India?'

Gopinathan claimed to have travelled across 70 districts in 19 states of the country in the last 100 days, campaigning against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act.

"2020 will be remembered as one of the remarkable years in Indian politics, as people have taken to the streets," he said.

"Shaheen Bagh is an example that people are now protesting in large numbers. When I resigned from the IAS, I was quite delusional but now, seeing the countrywide protests, I am optimistic we are headed in the right direction," he said.

Gopinathan was serving as an IAS officer until he resigned from service protesting against the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370. He has been in the news for voicing his sentiments against the Centre. He said the government has no clarity over the imposition of the contentious acts. He further said, the government's failure to act after the attacks at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Jamia Millia University clearly showed its incompetence. "The democracy of a country is at threat when students are attacked. It's been a while since the attacks but neither the PM nor the HM have condemned it yet," he said.

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