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Shaheen Bagh Protesters: Whether Court Decides After 4 or 40 Weeks, We Won't Retreat Until CAA Is Withdrawn

22 Jan 2020 07:01 PM, IST

Shaheen Bagh Protesters: Whether Court Decides After 4 or 40 Weeks, We Won't Retreat Until CAA Is Withdrawn
Women protesters at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi on Jan 22, 2020.

Masihuzzama Ansari | India Tomorrow


NEW DELHI, JANUARY 22— The Supreme Court’s refusal to interim stay on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and giving four weeks to the Centre to file replies to the petitions challenging the CAA has failed to weaken the resolve of the Shaheen Bagh protesters.


The women protesters, who have been squatting on the road under a makeshift tarpaulin tent for more than a month now, asserted that they would continue their protest till their demand was met and CAA goes lock, stock and barrel.


“We will not go back from the road till the (Narendra) Modi government withdraws CAA. This is our firm resolve. Let every body in the government and outside the government know,” the women protesters told India Tomorrow.


They said were ready to continue their protest not only for another four weeks but even for the next four months.


A three- judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde during hearing of the petitions, which are 140 in all, said on Wednesday that the hearing on it would be conducted by a five judge constitution bench and that the stay on the law can be given by the constitution bench only after receiving government’s reply to all the petitions. The government has so far replied to only 60 petitions.


“Whether the court gives its verdict after four or forty weeks, we are not going to retreat till the government repeals this law. The government wants to break our resolve but we want to tell the government that we will go back to our homes after our demands are accepted,” say the Shaheen Bagh protesters.


An elderly lady sitting on dharna for the last 30 days said, “Tears begin gushing down our eyes while remembering the atrocities on women and children protesters in UP. The police atrocities in the houses of many of our relatives in UP remind us of the British barbarity. Did the court not look into the police barbarism on peaceful protesters? We will not go back even by an inch under any circumstances”, the old lady said.


Another old lady Muslima Malik said, “When we joined the protest, we had pledged that we will go back from the dharna site only after our demands are met. Our stand is the same even after the Supreme Court giving four weeks of time to the Centre to file replies to the court notices on petitions”. 


A 45-year-old woman sitting on dharna with her two children for the last 22 days says, “As many as 22 persons have attained martyrdom in defence of the protection of the Constitution as CAA is anti-Constitutional. If we give up our dharna, it will be disrespect to the sacrifices of the martyrs. The entire nation is on the road against CAA and the court will have to take note of it”.


“When we have come out of our homes to demand our right, then it is immaterial whether it takes four week, 40 weeks or four years. There is no question of going back. We will wait for it. We will continue the protest till this government is thrown out”, said another woman identifying herself as Saba.


The police had committed atrocities on a large scale on peaceful protesters in many towns of UP and a total of 23 protesters are reported to have been killed in police firing in UP alone.


Meanwhile, Aysha Renna and Ladeeda Farzana – two students who shot into fame for challenging the police during police crackdown on Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15, 2019, said that their protests would continue till the CAA was withdrawn completely.


“We are fighting to revoke this unconstitutional law and we will fight it till our demand is met,” said Ladeeda


“The protests that are emerging from different parts of the country, will go forward with more intensity,” Renna asserted.

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