Nearly three months since they began their protest against the citizenship law, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register, some of the women protesters at Shaheen Bagh said on Friday that the movement will continue till the law is revoked.
Ritu Kaushik, a protester and volunteer at Shaheen Bagh, said: “Women and children of Shaheen Bagh had started the movement after the Delhi Police brutally attacked the students of Jamia. The entire world knows the kind of problems we have faced during this movement, including people coming here with revolvers. Nobody even had a clue that something like this could happen in the national capital. All of this was done to divert attention and end this movement. But the dadis and women did not back down.”
Referring to Home Minister Amit Shah’s speech in Parliament on the NPR, Ms. Kaushik added: “Mr. Shah said that the “doubtful” category will be removed from the NPR. What we want to say is that why are the questions required at all? We demand that the law, which was amended in 2003, be revoked so that the issue gets uprooted once and for all.”
At the late night briefing, several women came forth and demanded answers from the Centre on the recent violence which erupted in north-east Delhi. “One single community was targeted [in the riots] and the ones who [from other communities] tried to save them were also attacked.
“It’s a matter of shame that the UN had to interfere. India is a secular country with humanity which is now embarrassed before the world due to our current government,” said another protester.
Further she added, “On what basis did the HM said that the riots ended on February 25 when police records show there were distress calls on February 26 as well?”
Maintaining that the CAA was unconstitutional and not secular, demonstrators said that the riots were a “targeted attack on a single community to an extent that they are scared to return to the same place” and demanded that the Centre provide compensation to the victims.
Referring to narratives against the Shaheen Bagh protest, one of the women demonstrators said: “Looks like the HM has forgotten the chronology himself. We have been sitting here for the attack on Jamia students and against CAA-NRC-NPR and not because some political party or group has asked us to sit here.”
Speaking about the COVID-19 scare, she added, “They [Centre] don’t need to spread corona virus panic hoping that we will run away from here. We want to tell HM that don’t bother about us as we can take care of ourselves. You think about the people whose houses have been burnt and are left homeless now.”