Several hundred people protested in front of the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi on Wednesday to oppose the amended Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). Men, women and children sat in front of the mosque with candles and posters.
The candle march started from Lal Kuan, moved through Chawri Bazaar and concluded at Gate No 1 of the Jama Masjid. The crowd sat on the stairs of the mosque shouting slogans. The symbolic protest ended with singing of the national anthem.
Jama masjid Delhi todayJanuary 8, 2020
Residents from all parts of Old Delhi were part of the protest. They also expressed their support with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Jamia Millia Islamia.
"Where will our brothers and sisters from Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and other communities go if they fail to submit their documents?" Zeena Junaid a resident of Lal Kuan told PTI while talking about the proposed nationwide NRC. She added that they have their documents with them, but wondered what will happen to those who do not have the required credentials.
Seeda, also a resident of Lal Kuan, said why there had been no action against any culprit involved in assaulting students on JNU campus. Seeda alleged that the present government was not only attacking students, but were also creating communal disharmony in the country.
The protesters said they would not be sharing any details with the officials who would visit to verify their documents regarding the amended CAA. "Boycott CAA" and "Can't protect students in your own country and want to protect minorities of other countries" were among some of the posters held by the protesters. They also held banners mentioning the Preamble.
The protesters also questioned why no arrests had been made yet in connection with the mob attack at JNU. "There is an atmosphere of fear in the country under this government. No one can speak or share their views on the decisions taken by the government. We are not safe in our own country," said a student.
Iram, an MA student of Jamia said she fears going to campus after her university students were attacked by the police last month. "I was not part of the protest when police barged in my campus but following the incident, I also joined the peaceful protest which was organised post the violence that unfolded in our university," she told the news agency.
A student of Delhi University also said, "Instead of providing us employment opportunities and a safe campus to pursue our dreams, government is sending their goons and assaulting students. Are they shaping our future or destroying it?"