Citizenship Law: Students from universities across Delhi hit streets

New Delhi: Women with young daughters, students, politicians and civil society activists all came together for a march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar against the amended Citizenship Act, amid a heavy deployment of security personnel along the route.
The march spearheaded by Yogendra Yadav’s Swaraj Abhiyan and the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students was allowed to proceed despite not having police permission.
The police said prohibitory orders, banning the assembly of four or more persons, were in place in Mandi House.
“It is unfortunate that in our country, the police does not give permission for anything. We had approached police for permission four days ago but on Monday night, we were informed that we do not have permission to protest,” Yadav said.
The march commenced around 12.45 pm amid cries of ‘Halla Bol’, ‘Chhatra Ekta Zindabad’, ‘Jai Bhim’, and anti-government slogans by scores of protesters from different universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University, JMI and Delhi University.
Protesters marched carrying cutouts of BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Zakir Hussain, freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan and even the Preamble of India, as they voiced their dissent against the new citizenship law, which has led to nationwide protests.
“The prime minister had created more confusion over the issue. He said that the NRC has not been discussed but the president has spoken about it. Even the home minister has spoken about NRC in Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to clarify that the NRC will not happen,” Yadav said.
Former student leader Umar Khalid said not only was the civil society resisting the legislation, but several chief ministers and political parties had criticised it as well.
He also raised questions about violence in such protests.
“The only instances of violence in such protests have happened in BJP-ruled states. There is a design here. What is happening in Uttar Pradesh is extremely shameful as police have barged into people’s houses and that needs to be condemned by all.
“The prime minister spoke about damage to property but not even once about the loss of lives during such protests,” Khalid said.
He said the government is not concerned about issues like unemployment, women’s safety and the only issue they are concerned about is the citizenship law which is a big fraud.
At the protest, a woman from Chittaranjan Park grabbed eyeballs as she walked with her three-year-old twin daughters.
The twins had snowman painted on their cheeks as they were attending the protest after school where they were part of Christmas celebrations.
“I got them here directly from school. They should know what is happening in the country,” said Kiran, who only identified herself by her first name, said.
Accusing the government of “destroying the diversity” of the country, she said her daughters were seeing what was happening in the nation on television.
Anuradha got her six-year-old daughter Avi to the protest for the first time. Avi was dressed in a traditional Bharatnatyam dance attire and had just come from school after giving a performance.
Anuradha said she has been a regular at these demonstrations and was even detained during one such protest on December 19.
“It is important that she sees it. She is not aware of the issues but I try and explain them to her through the stories of kings and queens. I feel scared about the future of my daughter,” she said.
Sania, a Delhi University alumnus and resident of Jamia Nagar, said, “It is our right to protest. The protests have baffled the political leadership to an extent that they are changing their statements. We will continue our protest till CAA is taken back.”
Some students from the College of Art wrote slogans against the law on roads with chalks. They said they had visited other protest sites as well and penned their thoughts on roads.
“We understand that these will be rubbed off when people pass on the roads but even for some time, our thoughts and demands will stay and the people will read them,” said Vishal, one of the students, who was part of the group. PTI

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