Hyderabad: Shops and businesses in the vicinity of the iconic Charminar shut shutters in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) and NRC.

As protests against the citizenship exercise is raging across the country, businessmen and even petty shopkeepers from Pathargati to Charminar have near-unanimously decided not to do any business on Saturday. It is quite an enormous decision considering that during weekends, more so with Christmas shoppers willing to spend an extra buck, business is always high. Even on a normal weekend, the place will be teeming with people. A stroll around the Madina stretch bore a sight that one would notice during curfews of decades ago.

Several banners were erected across the closed shutters as were posters proclaiming “Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai, CAB-NRC bye-bye”, “Hindu-Muslim Eh Hai, Modi-Shah Fake Hai”. Some other posters said, “We are One, we are Indian, we stand for silent protests against NRC/CAA. ”

A shopkeeper speaking to NewsMeter said, “Charminar is almost shut down. This is our protest against the CAA. All of us are together in this fight. We stand as one. From tomorrow, it will be business as usual,” he said. 

Call for protest public meeting

Meanwhile, a protest public meeting is being held later in the day under the aegis of United Muslim Action Committee, which is a joint forum against CAA and NRC, at Darussalam at 6 in the evening.

Ladeeda Farzana and Aysha Renna, the two students from Jamia Milia University, who had braved police crackdown on students, will be addressing the gathering. Hyderabad MP and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi and prominent human rights lawyer from Assam, Aman Wadud, will also address the protest public meeting. Apart from these personalities, several other spiritual leaders and activists are expected to attend the meeting, in solidarity with the CAA protests happening across the nation.

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