2 women protesting against CAA evicted from house


Two women who protested from the balcony of a Delhi apartment when Union Home Minister Amit Shah was holding an outreach programme in support of the contentious citizenship law, said they have been evicted from their house.

Surya Rajappan, a lawyer, said when the BJP president was holding a door-door contact drive at Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi on Sunday in support of the amended Citizenship Act, she and her flatmate displayed a banner from their apartment balcony.

The banner had slogans “Shame” in large capital letters, with CAA, NRC crossed out. They also wrote the messages Jai Hind, ‘Azaadi’ (Freedom) and #NotInMyName.

“To register our peaceful protest to the CAA and the NRC and to make our point that not all onlookers to this government parade were in support of the same, my flatmate and I displayed a home-made hand-crafted banner from our apartment balcony, just as the rally led by Amit Shah was passing through our lane,” the 27 year-old said.

On noticing the protest, the members of the rally were enraged and verbally abused them, alleged Ms. Rajappan, who was brought up in Delhi and had shifted to Lajpat Nagar as it was more convenient to commute to the Delhi High Court from there.

A mob of around 150 people gathered on the street below their apartment. The protest banner that they had hung from the balcony was torn and taken away, according to the woman.

Ms. Rajappan said a group broke away from the mob that gathered downstairs and forced their way up the stairs which lead to her residence and threatened to break down the door if they were not let in.

“Not anticipating such a strong and violent reaction to a peaceful protest, we feared for our lives and safety, and locked ourselves into our home, while they kept violently banging at our door and shouting until the police intervened,” she said.

However, their ordeal had just begun.

They were trapped in the house as the common entrance, which led to the stairway of their house, was locked and bolted by their landlord, she alleged.

Terrified, the two women called their friends for help.

The pleas of their friends that they should be allowed to peacefully leave the house were ignored by the frenzied mob. They were trapped for three-four hours inside the house with an angry mob outside, the lawyer said.

“In the meanwhile, our landlord, who was livid, informed us that we had been evicted from our residence. After a long period of time and multiple interventions by the police and our friends, my father was allowed to enter the premises along with a police officer,” she said.

Ms. Rajappan said the police recorded their complaint against the “criminal behaviour” of the unruly mob.

“After a period of seven hours, the door of the stairway was finally unlocked and we were allowed to leave the premises under the protection of the police. We packed our essentials and left,” she added.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 9:07:00 AM |

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