Delhi

Leaders, activists and residents call for peace, stage sit-in protest

Demonstrators at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.

Demonstrators at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Bibek Chettri/ Intern

Protesters blame Home Ministry and police for the situation; Yechury emphasises the need for Army deployment

“This isn’t like any other protest in Jantar Mantar, this is much bigger. Our Delhi is burning,” said activist Kavitha Krishnan addressing a varied crowd of citizens. While parts of Delhi witnessed a curfew after three consecutive days of violence, residents here organised a sit-in protest on Wednesday at Jantar Mantar demanding peace.

The gathering was also attended by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, writer Arundhati Roy, National Federation of Indian Women general secretary Annie Raja, JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and others who alleged the riots to be State-sponsored and discussed the inaction of Delhi Police in this critical situation. Placards reading ‘Arrest Kapil Mishra’, ‘Stop the Violence’ and ‘Delhi wants Peace’ were held high by the protesters.

Mr. Yechury said, “This is the not the time for speech or applause. Today our foremost concern is that peace should be restored in Delhi. We all need to stand united and fight the enemy together. People, our brothers and sisters, who were affected by the violence should know that Bharat stands with them in this time of distress.”

Emphasising the immediate need for Army deployment, he said the situation demands prompt action and can’t be controlled without the interference of the Army.

Gujarat-like riots

“What is happening in Delhi now is a chilling replay of 2002 Gujarat riots, when the current Prime Minister was the State Chief Minister,” said Mr. Yechury. A similar comparison was made by other speakers as well.

Navsharan Singh from NGO Karwan-e-Mohabbat explained the attempts being made for the betterment of the situation. She informed that volunteers consisting of lawyers, doctors and activists are operating from their offices and working towards assistance required in the affected areas. “We have reached a point where institutions are not responding to the needs of the citizens. We have to take the matter in our hands now,” she said.

Several speakers held the police and the Home Ministry responsible for not nipping the outburst in the bud.

Calling the riots being in the making since long, lawyer Vrinda Grover called the police actions in JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia was a trailer of their role in the current riots.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 4:35:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/leaders-activists-and-residents-call-for-peace-stage-sit-in-protest/article30926907.ece

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