Mumbai: With anti-CAA protests spreading all across the country, how can cricket stadiums be left behind? Well demonstrations against the new citizenship act took a new turn Tuesday with protesters also demonstrating at the Wankhede Stadium here during the first India-Australia ODI.
Wearing white T-shirts and carrying the national flag, a large group of students used the game as a platform to raise their voice against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The unique agitation took place despite the authorities reportedly taking measures to prevent any demonstration at the iconic stadium.
Security had been beefed up ahead of the game as organisers had an inkling of what may happen. But the protesters managed to slip past security. They then gathered at a particular section of the stadium to show their ire against the new act. During the match, they stuck together, delivering their message –‘ No CAA, No NRC, No NPR’—to the huge crowd.
“Mumbai students, who are also the majority of cricket lovers in a stadium game, decided to take their CAA protest to the game they love and enjoy. It was essential that the audiences and cricket lovers the world over know what kind of human rights crisis India is facing,” Fahad Ahmad, a student said in a statement.
“For once, we firmly believe sports and politics cannot be separate. Who knows, we may not be able to watch cricket the way we do once NRC and CAA comes into effect in India,” he added. Ahmad in the statement called the CAA ‘unconstitutional’. He said ‘NPR and NRC’ are ‘anti-poor and anti-minority’.
Prior to the protests the authorities reportedly asked a few spectators wearing black clothes to cover themselves with the national flag. A spectator was also asked to take off his black cap.