North-East people protest at Jantar Mantar

AIIMS doctors, students and artistes join.

New Delhi: The national capital witnessed multiple peaceful protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Sunday. People from different sections and classes of society came forward and raised their voices.

Scores of people took out a march in South Delhi on Sunday in support of Jamia Millia Islamia students and those facing police action for violent protest against the new law.

Holding placards, people shouted ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and demanded scrapping of the contentious law during the march in Alaknanda area. A group of Jamia students also participated in the protest.

Activist Umar Khalid was among hundreds of people who gathered at the Musafir Khana Park in Nizamuddin Basti on Sunday to hear what could be the impact of the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“We will follow the path of Mahatma Gandhi. We will never use violence but will peacefully oppose the CAA and NRC and give a reply to hate with love,” she said.

Among those explaining the implications of the CAA was former activist Umar Khalid, who said the most important fight was to save the country.

Students of Jamia Millia Islamia University and local residents of the area also protested against the CAA in front of university gate 7.

Further, in another protest, people from the north-east gathered at Jantar Mantar, claiming that protests against the CAA were given a Hindu-Muslim colour and that the voices from the region fighting for the rights of indigenous people were ignored.

The protesters, including students and civil society members, said they were deeply hurt and distressed by the police ‘brutality’ on those against the CAA.

“We respect their protest. We sympathise with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. It does not matter if you are a Hindu or a Muslim, the CAA is going to trigger a massive demographic change in the north-east,” a protester said.

While several students, doctors, and artistes gathered at Central Park in Delhi’s Connaught Place to protest against the law and the proposed all-India NRC.

Several AIIMS doctors wearing stethoscope around their neck also assembled at the site where the protesters sang patriotic songs and recited poems.

Organised by a newly-formed group called ‘Delhiites For Constitution,’ several protesters held up placards with catchy slogans.

Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Jayati Ghosh thanked the youth of the country for starting the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying “you gave us hope.”

“We should not stop now; we need to go forward,” Rashmi from Venkateshwara College said.

There is a need to bring back narrative to real issues like employment and whether ordinance factories would remain as public sector or not, she said.

Even members of the LGBT community gathered at Jantar Mantar, expressing concern that a countrywide NRC will lead to their ‘exclusion’ if their family disowns them or the mismatch of gender is shown in documents.

Rituparna Borah, who hails from Assam’s Lakhimpur district, said it is very difficult for LGBTQ members to procure documents if families turn hostile towards them.

“It’s very difficult to go back to the violent families to get documents. How will I prove I am an Indian? Secondly, among transgenders, name and sex in a birth certificate or a school certificate is different than in identity documents. How do you establish it’s the same person?” she asked.

“According to reports, around 2,000 trans-women have been excluded from Assam NRC,” Ms Borah claimed.

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