A section of protesters at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, the epicenter of anti-citizenship law protests in the national capital, have said they will march to Home Minister Amit Shah’s home at 2 pm on Sunday to discuss the contentious law with him, two days after Mr Shah said anyone could seek time with him to debate the merits of the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Home Ministry has, however, said in a statement that no such meeting has been scheduled for Sunday.
Hundreds of men, women and children have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh for two months against the citizenship law, which makes religion a test of citizenship and which critics say discriminates against Muslims. Protesters say that everyone, not just a small delegation, will march to meet the Home Minister.
“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 “daadi” of Shaheen Bagh told NDTV.
The Home Minister had said at the Times Now Summit on Thursday that anyone with doubts over CAA could seek an appointment from his office and he would be willing to meet them within three days.
The protesters, however, admit they have not sought an appointment with the Home Minister.
“We will try to march from here. If they let us (police) march or not, that depends on them,” another woman protester said.
The proposed march comes a day before the Supreme Court will resume hearing request to remove the protest at Shaheen Bagh. On Monday, the top court had issued notice to the government and Delhi police and noted that there can’t be “indefinite” protests on a public road.
Critics of the protest say it has blocked the common and public road connecting Delhi to Noida, causing problems for hundreds of commuters.
The Shaheen Bagh protest, which has drawn activists, artistes, celebrities and others from across the nation, has become the nerve-centre of the protests against the CAA, which enables citizenship for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they escaped religious persecution and entered India before 2015. Protesters fear that the CAA, along with the NRC (to identify illegal immigrants), will be used against undocumented Muslims.
(With inputs from Agencies)