As the world geared up to bring in 2020, more than 3,000 people gathered at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia Islamia on New Year’s Eve against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The protesters decided to walk into the new decade while singing the national anthem and raising 'azadi' slogans.
Braving the biting winter cold in the National Capital, women of all age groups – from a 90-year-old senior citizen to a mother of a 20-days-old baby – were seen at the peaceful protest. Senior citizens and children also attended the protest.
Tents were pitched and discussions on the CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC), National Population Register (NPR), India’s freedom struggle, the Constitution and the ideologies of the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar were discussed.
The stage gave a platform to poets, professors, civil society groups, civic leaders, actors and students, belonging to Jamia, JNU and other colleges and schools to voice their opinions against the amended Citizenship Act.
A band performance was also held, driving home the central message to save the country from the legislation passed by the Narendra Modi-led central government.
Protesters held the tricolour even as the food, tea, fire wood, blankets, mattresses, heaters, water and medical supplies from well-wishers were distributed among the people. Such help to agitators has been offered ever since protests gained momentum on 15 December, days after the Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill by the Parliament.
‘No-CAA’ and ‘no-NRC’ stickers are now found everywhere, even as protesters chanted 'Azaadi' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'.
Anti-CAA protesters also staged demonstrations at several other places in Delhi, including Connaught Place’s Central Park and Saket’s PVR Anupam complex.
The protests at Shaheen Bagh have been going on for over two weeks even as temperatures continue to hover around the single-digit figure in Delhi. The stir on Tuesday was helmed by women, who led peaceful protests at a distance of few feet from the area that saw violent clashes on 15 December.
During the protest a fortnight ago, buses were set on fire after protestors and the police clashed. Several students and policemen were injured and around 100 students were detained. The police also allegedly entered the Jamia Millia Islamia campus and was accused of brutality against students.
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who had come to India till 31 December, 2014, from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan because of religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants and be given Indian citizenship.
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Updated Date: Jan 01, 2020 11:00:38 IST