New Delhi: The site of protest may change, but our resolve will remain unfettered, said a protester at Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday. The Supreme Court on Monday asked the women at the 24×7 sit in, in Delhi’s southeast neighborhood to change the site of protest.
The women say they are ready for a conversation, but on their own terms.“Yahan makan nahin banaya hai (we haven’t constructed permanent houses here). We have always opened the road for ambulances and emergencies. We are ready to talk. But everyone needs to be consulted,” said Bilkis Bano, an 82-year-old who has become one of the most recognizable faces of the protest.
The Court said that the people have a fundamental right to protest against law but the blocking of public roads is a matter of concern and there has to be a balancing factor.
“We know that SC has asked mediators to come and speak to us. But we have made our position clear. We want this law to be repealed,” said Ruby, a 22-year-old protester.
“Hum watan pe tan mann lutaney pe hain. Humko malum hai hum nishane pe hain,” the woman protester in a black hijab echoed the song.
The official handle of the protest on Twitter said, “SC has denied any direct state action. Delhi Police directed to identify alternative site for protest. We look forward to a mutually beneficial dialogue with Delhi Police”
“We are here today. We, the women, have to always remember thousands of people who gathered in our support in so many places. There is a responsibility,” said a woman in her 50s.
Taseer Ahmad, a ‘volunteer-in-chief’ who helped with the overall arrangement from the start, the residents of the area are aware of the concerns raised by SC and they believe that dialogues can lead to a resolution.
The new law on citizenship states that persecuted non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, will be preferred while granting Indian citizenship. Coupled with the National Register of Citizens, this law will be used to target Muslims, felt protesters and hence raised voice against it.