January 4, 2020 5:53:22 am
Hundreds of people marched over 3 km with candles in their hands on Friday evening, to bring together the two most prominent anti-CAA protest sites of the city — Jamia Millia Islamia and Shaheen Bagh.
The call for the march had been given by the Jamia Coordination Committee, which has been organising protest events at the gates of the varsity for the last two weeks. In its call, the committee said the march was “in support of the women protesting relentlessly day and night at Shaheen Bagh.”
Around 6.15 pm, as a group of hundreds began their march with candles in their hands, the Tricolour was ubiquitous— painted on the faces of marchers, most of whom were residents of Jamia Nagar.
A group of four friends, all second-year BA students of Jamia, had pinned their headscarves with Tricolour brooches shaped like the Indian map.
“We got these today. They were given to us by some people before the march,” one of them said.
As the march proceeded through the lanes of Okhla, the air rang with cries for azadi: “Woh Bismil wali azadi! Woh Gandhi wali azadi! Ambedkar wali azadi! Akhlaq wali azadi!”
Residents of the localities, who had gathered to watch from their balconies, and bystanders in the market areas joined in the chanting as well.
As protesters reached their destination at Shaheen Bagh after over two hours of marching, the women were ushered to the area where the women of Shaheen Bagh have been sitting-in through the nights for close to 20 days. Hundreds of residents of Shaheen Bagh, who were already present at the site, formed a human chain to let the women in.
Nazia (38), a resident of Indirapuram, had travelled from Ghaziabad to join the evening’s march. It was not her first evening at Shaheen Bagh. “This is something that affects everyone. I don’t have anyone studying at Jamia or living in Shaheen Bagh, but this issue is important and I think I need to offer my support where the Act is being resisted strongly,” she said. She was yet to decide if she too would spend the night at the protest site.
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