A major rally opposing the new citizenship law Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be held in Panaji on Friday afternoon.
Civil society networks, community groups, tribal groups and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have joined hands to lead the rally, which will be organised by ‘Goa Alliance Against CAA, NRC, NPR’ forum. The rally will start from the Campal parade ground and culminate at Azad Maidan in the city for a public meeting.
The forum, with the help of civil society organisations, is mobilising support from minorities and tribal groups by holding corner meetings across the state and asking them to attend the rally in large numbers.
The rally, which will start at 3 pm, is expected to be the largest ever gathering of anti-CAA protestors in the state. The rally was initially
scheduled to be held on February 15 but had to be postponed to February 21 after District Collector requested the forum to postpone the rally due to security reasons in view of Portugal President’s visit to Goa.
The first protest meeting was organised by educationist Arvind Bhatikar on December 18, 2019, at Azad Maidan. The meet was supported by several civic groups with around 2,000 citizens vociferously objecting to CAA and NRC.
The second such peaceful protest was witnessed by hundreds of locals in Ponda on January 18 this year under the banner of ‘Goa Unity Forum’ followed by another protest in Margao on January 24 which called for the scrapping of CAA and dropping the proposals of NRC and NPR exercises.
Citizens are expected to come out in large numbers irrespective of their political affiliations so as to speak out in one voice.
“We may participate in the anti-CAA rally not as AAP party members but as individuals in our own capacity,” said general secretary of Aam Aadmi Party Pradeep Padgonkar.