Women, schoolchildren join protesters in large numbers.
New Delhi: Anti-government posters covered the long boundaries of Jamia Millia Islamia as protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens continued for the third consecutive day outside the university on Wednesday.
The protesters, including students and local residents, hung a large map of India outside the varsity gate number 7, showing the places where students from other universities across the country are carrying out protests against the CAA.
Another large poster urged the protesters “to maintain the acceleration with zero violence (sic)”. People from nearby areas and students started gathering outside the gate number 7 around 10:30 am.
They raised slogans against home minister Amit Shah, the government and the Delhi Police, demanding withdrawal of the CAA. “We don’t know if we will win or lose, but the fight will continue,” a student said addressing the gathering.
Joining the protest around noon, social activist Medha Patkar said it was not “citizenship amendment act but citizen amendment act:”. “If it came to NRC, we vow not to participate in it,” she said and asked the protesters to follow the path of non-violence shown by Mahatma Gandhi.
The government wants to deflect attention from the real issues of bread and butter by pitching one community against another, she alleged.
Former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar also joined the protest and said the demonstration was not just a fight to protect Muslims, but to protect the entire country. Addressing a large gathering of protesters outside the university’s gate number 7, Kumar said people should be more worried about the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which he said was much more dangerous than the controversial Citizenship Act.
The protest gained momentum after 1 pm when schoolchildren and women from the neighbourhood joined it. A few protesters taped their mouths and wore black bands. Some children in school uniform stood atop Jamia’s boundary walls holding placards.