NEW DELHI: New faces including women from outside the campus and the elderly have joined the protests in Jamia Millia Islamia which entered the fourth day after police barged inside the campus.
Slogans like 'Inquilab Zindabad', 'Modi Teri Tana Shahi Nahi Chalegi' (Modi, your tyranny will not be accepted), 'Hum Kya Chahte Azaadi' (We want azaadi) and 'We Want Justice' reverberated in the cold air.
Majid Khan, 65, from Okhla has been protesting for the last six days. “I am arranging food for the protest and keeping an eye on it so that no miscreants hijack it. We keep telling the students to maintain peace and not give the police any chance to do what they did inside the campus," Khan said. Two women and a kid from his family have also joined him. Besides hundreds of students who are managing the traffic, locals are coming in huge numbers.
“We are not associated with the university. We are ordinary citizens. We had been protesting from home but have come here now for the first time. Seeing the way people are protesting, irrespective of their religion, pushed me, my friends and neighbours to come forward and join,” said Saima Bano (name changed), a teacher and resident of Batla House.
"It’s not a simple protest but a demand for justice. Why divide in the name of religion? All Indians have equal rights,” said Bano Tasneem (name changed), who is also a school teacher.
Shahzadi (24), a housewife, has also joined the protests for the first time. She says her conscience forced her to come. "I realised that by just sitting inside nothing is going to happen. It is time to join the people on the roads," she added while holding a placard reading, “The CAA is dangerous for the Constitution, India and all its citizens.”
Food and snacks for the protesters are pouring in from the neighbouring areas. Barkat Ali who works in a workshop is one of the volunteers distributing the food.
“Locals are contributing money and then we cook biryani and distribute it among the protesters. We get water, snacks and tea. The people have been volunteering to facilitate the protesters,” Barkat Ali added.
Women are saying they realised the intensity of injustices in the country after the students who are their children were beaten up inside the campus. This made them come out to protest against the CAA and NRC, they said. “We want justice. That’s our sole demand,” said Aarzoo, a teacher from a nearby locality, whose 85-year-old mother, Lail-in-Nisa, has also come for the protest.
Nisa says she has been living in India since 1958. “We have never seen this hatred. This is the first time. When my children are out, how can I stay indoors,” she said.