Hundreds of women protesting against the citizenship law at Shaheen Bagh have stopped their march to Union home minister Amit Shah’s house midway after being assured of a proper appointment with him. The women had started the march around 2 pm, hoping for a dialogue with Mr Shah on the citizenship law. They did not have an appointment or the permission for a protest march from the police.
The police said they stopped the march and went back to their sit-in protest after they were told that their application for a meeting has been sent to the home minister. The women told NDTV that they would not give up their protest or allow it to become violent or disorderly.
The police turned down their application to hold a protest march after the women refused to send a delegation to meet the home minister.
“We have asked protesters who are in the delegation which wants to meet home minister Amit Shah today, so we can plan a meeting. But they said that they all want to go. We have denied that, but we will see what we can do,” news agency ANI quoted a senior police officer as saying.
“We will march to Amit Shah’s house along with everyone here. We will speak in front of everyone. We will ask him to give in writing that NRC and CAA will be taken back,” a 76-year-old protester told NDTV.
The protesting women decided to talk to Mr Shah after his open invitation at the Times Now Summit on Thursday. Anyone with doubts over the CAA could seek an appointment from his office and he would be willing to meet them within the next three days, he had said.
Shaheen Bagh has been the epicentre of the protests against the citizenship law for the last two months. It was made the centrepiece of the BJP campaign for Delhi, and the subject of much of the hate speech from the party’s leaders.
Various leaders of the BJP have made it clear that they consider the protesters as “terrorists” and “anti-nationals”, and egged on crowds to shout “goli maaro” slogans at election rallies.
On Thursday, Mr Shah admitted that such hate speeches should not have been made and admitted that they could have hurt the party’s chances in the election. The BJP, which held a mega campaign involving most of its 270 parliamentarians and 70 union ministers, have won only eight of Delhi’s 70 assembly seats in the election.