NEW DELHI: On the eve of Christmas, people protesting against the newly passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Mandi House on Tuesday held posters with the slogan on it saying “All I”m getting for Christmas is Lathi Charged”
The protesters march which started at Mandi House continued till Jantar Mantar and was also joined by Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav and former JNUSU student leader Umar Khalid.
Slogans of “Aazadi” and “Inqalaab” kept roaring in the air along with patriotic songs and jingles. People were also seen shouting slogans against the government and the media.
Protesters were also seen holding big hoardings with pictures of freedom fighters like Chandrashekhar Azad, Rajguru and Bhagat Singh.
Speaking to , one of the protesters, Vikrant, who claimed to be a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, said, “This will create a religious divide, it is unconstitutional and arbitrary. The police and the government is acting brutally in the state of Uttar Pradesh, we can”t even contact our friends in UP.”
Another protester wearing yellow coloured mask with “peaceful protest” written on it, said, “I am scared and that is why I am here. I fear everything after seeing what happened inside the Jamia campus and what is going on in Uttar Pradesh.”
Addressing the protesters, Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav said, “People marched to Lal Quila to protest against the unconstitutional bill on December 19 because it is the day when Ashafq and Bismil sacrificed their life. We are standing here against the attack on the foundation of the country.”
“I would salute the whole Jamia community. People forget that Jamia is not a university set up by the Britishers. It is a byproduct of struggle of independence. If any university can be called national it is only and only Jamia Milia Islamia,” Yadav added.
Meanwhile, more than 63 youth organisations gave an ultimatum to the government to revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) after rejecting the clarifications given by Prime Minister.
“We believe CAA is anti-Muslim and is thus communal and divisive. An All India NRC will disenfranchise crores of Indians, including Muslims and India”s poor and underprivileged. Their citizenship rights will be snatched away. It will throw the poor and the marginalised from all communities into an abyss of sheer insecurity devoid of rights. And as a first step to NRC, the central government has brought in the National Population Register (NPR). The NPR is not a simple population-counting exercise; it is the first step towards declaring citizens as ”doubtful” or illegal citizens,” a statement said.
“The student-youth of the country is in the front row of resistance to the threat that the CAA-NRC poses to the democratic and inclusive character of India enshrined in our constitution….Students of Jamia and AMU faced massive repression from police. In BJP ruled states, particularly UP and Assam, repression and incarceration of protesters is growing by the minute. But this did not deter students and democracy loving people; they are pouring out in ever larger numbers,” the statement read further.
Residents of Jamia Nagar have been organising peaceful demonstrations outside the university campus against the alleged police brutality on students and the citizenship law. While protests have spread to different parts of the country injuring and killing several people, the situation outside Jamia has remained peaceful for the past one week.
Residents and commuters in the heart of the national capital were seen running for their lives as the raging mob of almost 1,000 people protested against the Citizenship Act. At least five buses were set ablaze or damaged, besides various cars and bikes that were targeted by the mob. Two fire officials were injured in stone pelting as protests against the newly enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, that seized parts of south Delhi for almost an hour as arsonists vandalised and stone pelting mob ran amok threatening residents.
Uttar Pradesh too witnessed intensive violence in its 19 districts, the death toll in the violent protests has gone up to 18 though the UP DGP O.P. Singh claimed that 18 persons had died so far. He said deaths had been reported from Meerut, Bijnor, Ferozabad, Sambhal and Rampur, Lucknow and Varanasi.
The DGP said that 131 FIRs had been lodged in connection with the violence and 879 persons had been arrested. He said over 5,000 people have been confined. 288 police personnel also suffered injuries.