Delhi

Protesters converge at Jantar Mantar, assert their identity

This was to challenge Prime Minister’s remark on agitators

Hundreds of people gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) besides the “categorical mistreatment” of Muslim community at the hands of the police across the country.

The protesters said that the idea behind asserting their Muslim identity while registering dissent against the government is to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that “those protesting can be identified by their clothes”.

Iqra Raza (20), a student of Delhi University, alleged that a policeman yelled “in burqa walon ko pakdo” at her during an anti-CAA protest. She said: “Policemen have constantly been using Islamphobic slurs while dealing with Muslim protesters, especially burqa-clad women, and that is extremely problematic. They justify their violence by saying that they have been ordered to disperse the crowd but who has ordered them to mistreat us who are dressed differently.”

Songs of resistance

The protesters raised slogans like “Ye desh humara aap ka, nahi kisi ke baap ka”, “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Aazadi”. Many of them also sang songs of resistance and read out poems as an ode to Muslim women who have been at the helm of anti-CAA protests.

Addressing the crowd, Aamir Aziz (30), an alumna of Jamia Millia Islamia, said: “Pluralism is the very essence of India and that is what we are trying to protect by protesting against CAA and NRC.”

The protesters alleged that a stark difference could be seen in the way the police have been ordered to treat Muslim protesters as compared to non-Muslims and raised questions regarding the “brutal crackdown” in Jamia and Aligarh.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 3:15:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/protesters-converge-at-jantar-mantar-assert-their-identity/article30570503.ece

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