16 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: Members of the Muslim community accompanied by practitioners of other faiths including Hindus will take out a peace rally here in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) tomorrow.
The protestors holding black ribbons have planned to march in silence from the Satya Nagar Masjid at 11 AM demanding revocation of the CAA.
The peace rally by silent marchers will culminate at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's residence-Naveen Niwas.
"The recent passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in both Houses of Parliament and with Presidential assent becoming a law -CAA is against the Constitution of India. It's against Article 14 of the Constitution of India. There are protests against this across India. It is not only Muslims who are protesting. Hindus, Christians, Sikhs-people of Hindustan are protesting. This is nothing Muslim, it's about the people of the country," said Mufti Mohammad Jamal Qasmi, Imam Mancheswar Masjid talking to reporters here.
The marchers have planned to submit a memorandum to the Odisha Chief Minister to convey their concerns and apprehensions over the CAA and proposed legislation for nationwide implementation of the National Register of Citizens or NRC.
"We will be taking out a peace rally tomorrow to demand revocation of CAA in full. It will be a peaceful rally in silence and there will be no sloganeering. We will gather at Satya Nagar Masjid and march to Naveen Niwas to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister," he added.
"We love our Chief Minister for his secular credentials. His father was a secular person. His party is secular. He has been adjudged as the best Chief Minister. We will through our memorandum appeal Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to at least hold a press conference and assure the people of Odisha that he was secular, is secular and shall remain secular," Qasmi said.
It may be noted here that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday last had assured the Muslim community in the State that his government will not implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The Chief Minister had made the commitment during the course of a meeting with a delegation of the Muslim community hailing from Bhadrak, Balasore, and Jajpur which had come to meet him to share their concerns over the safety of their community with passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Parliament and talks of NRC being implemented across the country.