Hundreds march to Jantar Mantar against citizenship law

Brother of Sharjeel Imam, arrested on sedition charges, participated in the rally that went off peacefully

Hundreds of protesters, including students and civil society members, poured onto the streets in central Delhi on Monday to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The protesters, carrying placards and banners, converged at Mandi House around 11 a.m. and started marching towards Jantar Mantar and reached the site around noon via Barakhamba Road and Tolstoy Road.

Walking side by side

A large number of police and paramilitary personnel walked along with them.

The protest call was given by the Welfare Party of India.

“The protesters do not have permission to take out a march, but as long as they maintain peace, we do not have a problem,” a police officer said. The protesters, however, claimed that they had the permission and would march till Jantar Mantar.

Children as young as 10, senior citizens, civil society members and university students took part in the rally.

Mohammad Shareef, who came from Kanpur, said his son Mohammad Rais (30) was shot dead by the police while returning home after offering namaz. “On December 20, Rais was returning home after offering namaz. He used to sell ‘papad’ and also worked in a marriage hall. There was a commotion that day and Rais started running when the police shot him.”

“The people from the locality took him to my house and I rushed him to a hospital. Not a single person has visited my house to ask how we are. The police misbehaved with us,” he added.

The protesters carried the photographs of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad and social reformer Savitribai Phule, and demanded that the government revoke the “black law”.

The mother of another victim, Aftab Alam, said her son did not participate in any protest. “After the death of his father, my son used to work as a mason. He was shot dead by the police when he had gone to offer namaz in Kanpur. The incident took place at Babu Purwa and the bullet had hit the left side of his chest,” she said.

The wife of Kafeel Khan, who was in September acquitted of all negligence and corruption charges in the Gorakhpur BRD Hospital tragedy, and the brother of Sharjeel Imam, arrested on sedition charges, also participated in the march.

Siraj Talib, the national secretary of the Welfare Party of India, said: “We are protesting against the CAA and the NRC. We have permission. I have spoken to the police and we are marching towards Jantar Mantar.”

Riyasat Malik (20), who works in a private organisation, said that he, along with around 80 women, arrived from Sunder Nagri to support the anti-CAA protest.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:44:23 AM |

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