1,000 Women Block Delhi Road Over CAA, Back Bhim Army's Strike Call

Demanding repeal of the citizenship law, the women protesters began the sit-in near the Jaffrabad metro station last night.

Protest against CAA continued overnight at Delhi's Jaffrabad amid heavy police presence.

Highlights

  • About 200 women began the sit-in last night, the crowd swelled
  • Protesters are demanding repeal of the citizenship law
  • Police said they are trying to clear the road cleared by the protesters
New Delhi:

Attempts are being made to clear an arterial road in northeast Delhi's Jaffrabad, blocked by around 1,000 women and about 500 men protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, police said today. The protesters are also supporting nationwide strike call by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who is leading demonstrations today over the Supreme Court order, which said that "quotas and reservations for promotions for government jobs is not a fundamental right".

Demanding repeal of the citizenship law, about 200 women 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 as more women and children joined them. "We want freedom from CAA, NRC," said one of them. The metro station was temporarily closed this morning due to the protests.

The area has been barricaded. 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 latest 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 key road connecting the national capital to Noida, which was closed due to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh, 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 (Long live Bhim) slogans. Chandrashekhar Azad is leading protest marching 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".

"I appeal to (members of) Bahujan Samaj that it is our fundamental right to raise voice against injustice, observe shutdown in a peaceful manner. People of the BJP will try to provoke you, do not get provoked," the 33-year-old, who was arrested in December over anti-CAA protests, tweeted this morning in Hindi.

In visuals shared by news agency ANI, he was seen holding a protest march in Maharashtra's Aurangabad.

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". 

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