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Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests may be suspended due to Corona Virus pandemic

The student led protests at Jamia Millia Islamia university are likely to be called off, or suspended for the time being, on Sunday March 22. The date marks 100 days of the protest. 

Karuna John 20 Mar 2020

Anti CAA

Students of the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia university have been vocal and steadfast in protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Narendra Modi-led Union government. In December 2019, a violent clash between the protestors marching against the CAA, and Delhi police erupted. Visuals of cops allegedly entering the campus, including the library and beating up students, damaging property went viral, and led to more protests. 

The protestors continued to sit outside the university gates and protest peacefully with talks, slogans, and poetry in the backdrop of bold graffiti which is now seen as revolutionary art. It only began to thin out in the last a few days as steps to combat the spread of Covid-19 are being enforced across Delhi.  

According to sources, even the women-led Shaheen Bagh protest which too is almost touching the 100-day mark, may also shut down by Sunday. “We are trying to meet those at the protest and educate them about the CoronaVirus pandemic, and make them understand the ways we can prevent it from spreading. We are trying to make them understand the need to suspend the protest for now,” said an activist who has been active in his support to the various protests. 

Across the city, anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests at Jama Masjid, Azad Market, and Eidgah are also likely to shut down in a day or two. Organisers at all these protests have sent messages to those participating, and following the protests that they will suspend the protests for now. “We are fighting for the people. We will suspend our protests till March 31 in view of the steps needed to tackle the threat of CoronaVirus,” said an organiser from the Azad Market protest.

While the citizen-led protests across the city may shut down by Saturday, or Sunday, efforts are still on to convince Shaheen Bagh protest to shut down for now as well. “We must convince the elders there. The protest is against the government policy, it is not against people,” said a volunteer. 

“We do not want to endanger anybody’s health. It is in the best interest that the Shaheen Bagh protest, and others across the city are suspended for now. We can and must reconvene once the CoronaVirus threat is over. Maybe till March 31,” added another. 

Though any official confirmation is yet to be received from the protest sites, many who have been at the core of these protests since day one say, suspending them for now is the best option.  “That is what we hope for now,” said an anti-CAA protestor. 

Delhi may have  a near total shut down this Sunday as Delhi Metro services too have been suspended that day in view of the “janata curfew” or voluntary civil curfew, called for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to Delhi Health Department the city has 14 confirmed CoronaVirus cases so far. Cases have also been reported from Gurgaon, and Noida, where Section 144 has been n enforced till April 5.

Both these areas are a part of the National Capital Region (NCR). Meanwhile the protest at ‘Bhiwandi Shaheen Bagh’ will go on with only five protestors till March 31 due to Covid-19. The organizers of the Bhiwandi Shaheen Bagh said that keeping public safety paramount, the protest would go on symbolically until further orders.

Till a couple of days ago the women-protesting at Shaheen Bagh said they would take precautions but go on with the protest. In the tent the number of women has thinned down. There are fewer elderly women.  A hygiene protocol was in place and even for visitors, and the women sat in smaller groups, some on benches instead of the ground.

The Delhi government has ordered the closure of all malls, restaurants, and banned gatherings of more than 20 people. 

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Anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests may be suspended due to Corona Virus pandemic

The student led protests at Jamia Millia Islamia university are likely to be called off, or suspended for the time being, on Sunday March 22. The date marks 100 days of the protest. 

Anti CAA

Students of the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia university have been vocal and steadfast in protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Narendra Modi-led Union government. In December 2019, a violent clash between the protestors marching against the CAA, and Delhi police erupted. Visuals of cops allegedly entering the campus, including the library and beating up students, damaging property went viral, and led to more protests. 

The protestors continued to sit outside the university gates and protest peacefully with talks, slogans, and poetry in the backdrop of bold graffiti which is now seen as revolutionary art. It only began to thin out in the last a few days as steps to combat the spread of Covid-19 are being enforced across Delhi.  

According to sources, even the women-led Shaheen Bagh protest which too is almost touching the 100-day mark, may also shut down by Sunday. “We are trying to meet those at the protest and educate them about the CoronaVirus pandemic, and make them understand the ways we can prevent it from spreading. We are trying to make them understand the need to suspend the protest for now,” said an activist who has been active in his support to the various protests. 

Across the city, anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests at Jama Masjid, Azad Market, and Eidgah are also likely to shut down in a day or two. Organisers at all these protests have sent messages to those participating, and following the protests that they will suspend the protests for now. “We are fighting for the people. We will suspend our protests till March 31 in view of the steps needed to tackle the threat of CoronaVirus,” said an organiser from the Azad Market protest.

While the citizen-led protests across the city may shut down by Saturday, or Sunday, efforts are still on to convince Shaheen Bagh protest to shut down for now as well. “We must convince the elders there. The protest is against the government policy, it is not against people,” said a volunteer. 

“We do not want to endanger anybody’s health. It is in the best interest that the Shaheen Bagh protest, and others across the city are suspended for now. We can and must reconvene once the CoronaVirus threat is over. Maybe till March 31,” added another. 

Though any official confirmation is yet to be received from the protest sites, many who have been at the core of these protests since day one say, suspending them for now is the best option.  “That is what we hope for now,” said an anti-CAA protestor. 

Delhi may have  a near total shut down this Sunday as Delhi Metro services too have been suspended that day in view of the “janata curfew” or voluntary civil curfew, called for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to Delhi Health Department the city has 14 confirmed CoronaVirus cases so far. Cases have also been reported from Gurgaon, and Noida, where Section 144 has been n enforced till April 5.

Both these areas are a part of the National Capital Region (NCR). Meanwhile the protest at ‘Bhiwandi Shaheen Bagh’ will go on with only five protestors till March 31 due to Covid-19. The organizers of the Bhiwandi Shaheen Bagh said that keeping public safety paramount, the protest would go on symbolically until further orders.

Till a couple of days ago the women-protesting at Shaheen Bagh said they would take precautions but go on with the protest. In the tent the number of women has thinned down. There are fewer elderly women.  A hygiene protocol was in place and even for visitors, and the women sat in smaller groups, some on benches instead of the ground.

The Delhi government has ordered the closure of all malls, restaurants, and banned gatherings of more than 20 people. 

Related:

Bhiwandi Shaheen Bagh to go on with only 5 protestors till March 31 due to Covid-19

"Does the Coronavirus ignore wedding parties, and attack only peaceful protests?"

Lives of the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in the times of Corona

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