Thousands of people from northern states, including many who have been part of a sit-in at Shaheen Bagh, and student groups on Wednesday held a protest at Jantar Mantar here against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“We want the government to roll back the alliance of CAA, NRC and NPR,” said Nadeem Khan, an activist of NGO ‘United Against Hate’.
Student groups from Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University ((JNU), Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Maulana Azad National Urdu University and Hyderabad Central University were among those who took part in the protest.
Many protesters from Shaheen Bagh, where a dharna against the CAA has been on for over a month now, also joined the demonstration.
The ‘Shaheen Bagh dadis’ — as the elderly women who have become a unique part of the sit-in in south Delhi are called — had come to take part in the protest but could not reach the venue due to traffic restrictions.
Among the protesters were people from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
Naim Rabbani (41), a Jaipur-based businessman, said the CAA is discriminatory since it does not include Muslims.
“We will try to save the Constitution till our last breathe. It’s a long journey,” Rabbani, who had come along with 400 people, said.
Protesters also condemned the arrest of JNU PhD scholar Sharjeel Imam, who was held by the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch in Bihar’s Jehanabad in a sedition case for allegedly making inflammatory speeches.
“We condemn the arrest of Sharjeel Imam and we condemn the sedition charges levelled against him. His family was also harassed,” Nadeem Khan said
Mohammad Javed (37) said he left the Army to sit in the anti-CAA protests. Javed said he has served at the Siachin glacier.
“We are all Indians, my forefathers have fought for the country too and I will show no documents,” he said.
Zulekha Jabin (50), a Delhi-based social activist, said their fight is for the younger generation and for freedom.
“We will strive for it till our last breath,” she said.