Into the 15th day of agitation, residents of Shaheen Bagh continued with their demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
With mattresses left to dry on dividers, protesters who are camping day and night in a makeshift tent, on Saturday afternoon said that the demonstration will continue till the Centre repeals the new law.
Amid an appeal to ensure that the narrative is not “changed into a communal one as the government is trying”, Sarfaraz Ahmad, one of the protesters, while addressing the crowd, said: “If we believe in humanity we should all speak up. We have seen several of our Hindu brothers stand in solidarity with us over here and this is all because humanity is still alive.”
The agitation also saw several women taking to the streets and participating in the sit-in protest while braving the cold weather conditions in the national capital.
Fatima (32), a housewife, said she has been a part of the demonstration since day one.
“The very fact that we are spending cold nights here is proof of the fact that we feel for the cause and it is something which affects us all. With reports coming in about how innocent Muslims are being targeted and being put behind the bars across the country, especially in Uttar Pradesh, we are now all the more scared. How can we not fight against this wrongdoing?,” she said.
Adding that there is a growing resentment among residents towards the “apathy” shown by the government, 67-year-old resident of the area, Shabana, said: “The Prime Minister does not seem to care about anything. While he is saying one thing, [Union Home Minister] Amit Shah seems to be saying something else. What are we, the common citizens, supposed to believe? Who do we trust?”
Asifa, a 42-year-old mother of two, added that the protest is now “a part of daily life”.
“Each member of every family is involved in the protest. The ones who work go for their jobs and children to tuitions, only to come back to join the demonstration. It is all the more important for the children as their future is at stake. We are not moving from here till the new law is repealed. If required, we will bring in the new year from this very spot,” said Ms. Asifa.