Punjab saw its biggest anti-Citizenship Act protest at Malerkotla with the highest number of women participants. Fourteen organisations came together to organise the protest which included the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), Punjab Students' Union-Lalkar, Punjab Lok Morcha, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union and other such factions of both famers and students.
The city remained shut through the day and protesters kept arriving in the city via bus and trains. The rally was addressed by students from Delhi University, leaders of farmers' union and noted activist and author Harsh Mander.
Speaking on the occasion, Harsh Mander said that the new citizenship law will not only harm Muslims but also people from lower castes and the economically backward people. '
"I appeal to all of you not to show any document when the officials knock at your doors for papers that will prove your citizenship of your own country. I won't show them any document and I will declare myself a Muslim, and let them detain me. I appeal to you all to do the same," he said.
The rally also saw some creative placards by youngsters. One of them said, "Donate a book to the needy. Student's name - Amit Shah. Book - Constitution of India".
A large group of youngsters walked around the rally venue in what they called was "a funeral procession" for the country's top functionaries.
The thousands of women protesters criticised Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his functionaries for casting aspersions on the women protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.
Malerkotla became the epicentre of anti-CAA protests in Punjab as the first continuous dharna, like Shaheen Bagh, started on January 9.
The organisers announced that till the government repeals the citizenship law, protests will continue across the state.
The contentious CAA, pushed through parliament in December, makes religion the test of citizenship for the first time. The government says the law helps non-Muslim refugees fleeing religious persecution from Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries, but critics say the law violates the Constitution's secular tenets and discriminates against Muslims.