An overnight protest by around 500 people, mostly women, against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has led to blockade of road no 66 which connects Seelampur with Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar in Delhi. Attempts are being made to clear this key road in northeast Delhi’s Jaffrabad.
The women protesters carrying the tricolour and raising slogans of ‘aazadi’ (freedom), began their sit-in protest near the Jaffrabad metro station last night.
News agency PTI quoted protesters as saying, “they would not move from the site till the Centre revokes the CAA.”
They are also supporting Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Aazad’s call for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on February 23 against a Supreme Court ruling that states were not bound to provide reservation in promotion and appointments in public employment and also reservation for appointments and promotions to public posts is “not a fundamental right.”
In a major judgement, on February 9, the Supreme Court ruled that reservation for appointments and promotions to public posts is “not a fundamental right”.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation tweeted, “Entry & exit of Jaffrabad have been closed. Trains will not be halting at this station.”
Entry & exit of Jaffrabad have been closed. Trains will not be halting at this station.
— Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (@OfficialDMRC) February 23, 2020
NDTV quoted Senior police officer Ved Prakash Surya as saying, “policemen are holding discussions with the protesters to clear the road.We are holding talks with the protesters so that they leave… they can’t block a major road like this. We have called paramilitary security personnel also.”
This is the second women led anti-CAA protest in Delhi after Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh has been the epicentre of the anti-CAA agitation as the protesters have been sitting at the venue since December 15 demanding the withdrawal of the Act which they alleged to be anti-Muslim.
According to the new law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The opposition parties have termed the legislation as “unconstitutional” which “is aimed at diverting attention from the burning issues of the common people”. Violent protests erupted across country against the new law.
Meanwhile, in a significant observation on Shaheen Bagh, the Supreme Court had on Monday said that there “cannot be indefinite protests” and “agitations cannot continue like this on public places”.