NEW DELHI: A day after modifications to his bail conditions allowed him to be in the national capital, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad visited the protesters outside Jamia Millia Islamia on Wednesday.
Azad, dressed in his signature white and blue, was greeted with loud cheers as held up a copy of the Constitution.
“We have not forgotten the batons which fell on our brothers ...this fight against the draconian laws is a long one. Anyone who raises their voice is put behind bars. If people take to the streets to express dissent, they are lathi-charged. And after all that, the police also shoot them. This cannot happen in a democracy,” he said.
After addressing the crowd, he visited the Shaheen Bagh protest site and addressed the agitators there, a large number of them women. Launching a scathing attack on the Prime Minister, Azad said if the PM can do Mann Ki Baat, then why is he not listening to the “mann ki baat of women in Shaheen Bagh who are sitting in protest for the last 38 days for a cause?”
Azad said he would not betray the people’s cause and that his struggle to oppose the new citizenship law (CAA), National Population Register and National Register of Citizens would continue. “To succeed, we need at least 1 lakh ‘Shaheen Baghs’ across the country as the government is making attempts to derail the movement,” he said. He also criticised those trying to sabotage the agitation.
“I have been told by the court to respect the PM and the Constitution, but the PM should also listen to the voice of people,” said the Dalit leader. One of the protesting women, Afreen, said the agitation would intensify with support of the Bhim Army.
CAA, NPR merit arbitration: JCC
Jamia Coordination Committee, managing the huge gathering of protests outside the Jamia Millia Islamia, on Wednesday said it respected the SC order to not to stay the CAA and NPR but these issues merit “urgent arbitration”.
“While keeping the utmost respect for the judiciary and its process, JCC will follow other modes of raising disagreements with the CAA, a law which the people clearly recognise as anti-constitutional, and with the NRC, a process which will create masses of stateless people,” it said.