Bringing in the New Year with slogans like “kagaz nahi dikhayenge” and “hum dekhenge,” several people protesting against the newly-enacted Citizenship Amendment Act Wednesday took a mass pledge to “defend the Constitution” at Delhi’s India Gate.
The protesters, including students from various universities, first read the Preamble to celebrate the New Year and went ahead to take a pledge that they will “not show any documents”, referring to the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR).
“We, today on 1st January 2020, reiterate our resolve to give ourselves a society that will be free of oppressors and take oath to not show any document to prove our citizenship and we will observe and propagate complete non-cooperation with anti-constitution and anti-India forces,” the protesters reiterated in their pledge.
“We the people of India, are sovereign as we give ourselves the constitution. No government elected by us on the basis of this constitution has the right to turn around and ask the people to ‘prove’ our citizenship on the basis of a divisive diabolical agenda trampling upon the very core of our constitution,” their pledge added.
“We in no way are going to discriminate (against) our fellow people on the basis of gender, race, colour, language, sex, caste or religion. Equality and Justice, politically, socially and culturally is what we want to assure each other,” former JNU Students Union President N Sai Balaji told news agency PTI.
“Our new year resolution is to defend the constitution. They cannot keep doing whatever they want to, there have to be some norms followed and the basic structure of the country cannot be demolished,” news agency PTI quoted Sarthak Chaubey, a Jamia Millia Islamia student, as saying.
To avoid any untoward incident, the Delhi Police deployed their staff in large numbers. Several protesters waved the national flag while others held placards with slogans against the new Act and chanted the slogan “Azaadi”.
The number of protesters, including visitors who were out to celebrate the New Year on a sunny day, led to massive traffic jams in the adjoining areas. Entry and exit gates of five Delhi Metro stations, namely Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Pragati Maidan, Khan Market and Mandi House, were closed in the evening to ease the rush of passengers. However, the gates of these metro stations were later opened.
The Delhi Traffic Police has been constantly alerting commuters about the vehicular traffic through its official handle on Twitter to avoid any inconvenience. Commuters were stuck in traffic jams on roads leading to India Gate, Connaught Place and ITO.
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