Shaheen Bagh protesters on Sunday were stopped by a large contingent of Delhi Police personnel from taking out a rally till Union Minister Amit Shah’s residence. The protesters are yet to receive police permission for the march.
In a letter to the protesters, the New Delhi district police had said the march will pass through two more districts and request for it has been sent to the police headquarters for further appropriate actions. Police said they had asked the protesters at Shaheen Bagh to give the details of the delegation for its meeting with the Union home minister. In a written response to police, they said 4,000 to 5,000 demonstrators would be marching towards Shah’s residence.
Update 2.20pm: Dadi’s of Shaheen Bagh are going to speak with police representatives to get permission to march ahead pic.twitter.com/Ywt0oxJk2t
— Shaheen Bagh Official (@Shaheenbaghoff1) February 16, 2020
On Thursday, Shah said he was open to discussions with anyone, including protesters at Shaheen Bagh, but that any conversation would take place on merit. Speaking at the Times Now summit, Shah said: “I want to say that they (Shaheen Bagh protesters) should ask for time from my office. Within three days I will give time. I have said I will meet anyone, but nobody wants to discuss.”
However, Home Ministry officials told news agency PTI that they did not receive any request for an appointment to discuss issues related to anti-CAA protests
Earlier, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also said the government is ready to talk to protesters of Shaheen Bagh “but then it should be in a structured form”.
Shaheen Bagh protesters have contested that though they are willing to have a dialogue, the onus is on the government to call them for talks. “We are ready to meet the Home Minister. But he should make it clear how many people he wants to meet,” PTI quoted Syed Ahmed Taseer, one of the protesters, as saying.
Mehrunnisa, who has been a regular at the protest, said the protesters would march to the Home Minister’s residence on Sunday. “We would ask him to withdraw CAA-NRC-NPR,” she said, adding that the protest would continue till their demand was met.
In protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act that guarantees citizenship to Non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India before December 31, 2014, protesters in Shaheen Bagh, mainly women, have been holding an indefinite sit-in protest since December 15, demanding the law be repealed. The protesters have also demanded the National Population Register (NPR) exercise be immediately stopped and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) cancelled.
While the BJP leadership has maintained there have been no discussion on a nation-wide NRC, Shah has made it clear the government won’t budge on the CAA.
(Inputs from PTI)
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