The Mumbai Police has denied permission to hold the annual Pride Parade at the August Kranti Maidan that was scheduled to take place on 1 February 2020, citing security reasons. The parade, which is organised by Humsafar Trust, was supposed to be attended by around 15,000 people.
According to a statement released by the police, the permission to hold the parade at August Kranti Maidan was denied over fears that placards against CAA and NRC would be raised during the Pride Parade.
A letter signed by the Senior Police Inspector of Gamdevi police station says that permission was originally procured for a rally to address LGBTQ issues. The police however, received information that the protesters would also raise anti-CAA and NRC slogans, prompting them to deny permission.
“A rally was supposed to be held regarding LGBTQ issues, but the police have received information that, in the rally, anti-CAA and NRC placards will also be shown against the Central government. Hence, we denied permission for this rally.”Excerpt from the police’s letter
LGBTQ activists, including Harish Iyer, criticised the police’s decision saying that the community’s rights could not be sacrificed in the pretext of security.
“Our rights and our freedom cannot be sacrificed in the pretext of security. Queers are not only in the forefront we exist in the margins and in the intersections of caste, religion and region. If any of our identities get affected the whole of us get affected. The CAA, NRC issue is a debatable issue. And there are Queer lives affected by it. Transgenders, queer Muslims are all who would be affected. At this point silencing us, is the biggest violence.”Harish Iyer, LGBTQ Activist
On 19 December 2019, the historic August Kranti Maidan witnessed massive anti-CAA and NRC protests which were attended by over 25,000 people.