Attempts are being made to clear a key road in northeast Delhi’s Jaffrabad, blocked since last night by more than 200 hundred women protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, Delhi Police said this morning. The women protesters are also supporting Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s call to hold a nationwide strike today after the Supreme Court said earlier this month that “quotas and reservations for promotions for government jobs is not a fundamental right”.
Demanding repeal of the citizenship law, the women protesters began the sit-in near the Jaffrabad metro station last night; they were seen carrying national flags as they shouted “Azaadi (freedom)” slogans amid heavy police presence. The crowd swelled overnight. “We want freedom from CAA, NRC,” said one of them. The metro station was temporarily closed this morning due to the protests, news agency ANI reported.
This morning, senior police officer Ved Prakash Surya said that 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,” he said.
This is the second major anti-CAA sit-in led by women in the national capital after Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of demonstrations against citizenship law, inspired similar agitations across the country. A major road connecting the national capital to Noida, which was closed due to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bag, reopened yesterday after 70 days.
In December, thousands of protesters – holding placards and national flags – had gathered at Jaffrabad metro station against the citizenship law.
With blue bands on their arms, the women at Jaffrabad metro station last night raised ”Jai Bhim” slogans. Chandrashekhar Azad will lead protests today after the top court on February 9 said that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and promotions and that “quotas are not a fundamental right”.
Massive protests have swept the country against the citizenship law, which makes religion test for citizenship for the first time in India. While government says it will grant citizenship to minorities from three Muslim-majority neighbouring countries, critics have called the law “anti-Muslim”.