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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Delhi: 2 women who held anti-CAA banner during Amit Shah’s Lajpat Nagar rally evicted

The banner read: Shame; CAA and NRC, crossed out; Jai Hind; Aazadi and #NotInMyName.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 8, 2020 3:34:37 pm
2 women who held anti-CAA banner during Amit Shah’s Lajpat Nagar rally evicted One of the women with the banner, Sunday. (Express photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

Two women who held up a banner against the Citizenship Amendment Act during Home Minister Amit Shah’s Lajpat Nagar rally on Sunday have been evicted from their rented home, with one of them claiming their protest had led to a mob trying to barge inside their residence.

In a statement, one of the women, Surya Rajappan, wrote: “When we became aware of Shah’s pro-CAA rally, we exercised our constitutional and democratic right to protest. As a common citizen, this was the perfect opportunity for me to register my dissent in front of the Home Minister. I believe that if I had failed to do so, I would have failed my own conscience.”

“My flatmate and I displayed a banner from our balcony, just as the rally led by Shah was passing through our lane. The banner read: Shame; CAA and NRC, crossed out; Jai Hind; Aazadi and #NotInMyName. A conscious decision was made on our part to ensure that there were no derogatory words or phrases.

“On noticing our protest, members of the rally started getting enraged and visibly agitated, and proceeded to harass and intimidate us by shouting threats and derogatory/misogynistic remarks. A mob of around 150 collected on the street below our apartment. The protest banner was torn and taken away. A group forced their way up the stairs which lead to our residence and threatened to break down the door if we did not let them in. Not anticipating such a strong and violent reaction, we feared for our lives and safety and locked ourselves into our home, while they kept violently banging at our door and shouting until the police intervened,” she wrote.

“However, our ordeal was not over yet. The common entrance which led to the stairway of our house was locked and bolted by our landlord, who was part of the angry mob, and we were trapped in the house and unable to leave. Terrified, we called our friends to come help us. When they arrived at the scene, the mob pushed and threatened them with more physical violence and refused to let them enter the house. For 3-4 hours, we were trapped inside. In the meanwhile, our landlord informed us that we had been evicted from our residence.”

“After a long time and multiple interventions by police and our friends, my father was allowed to enter with a police
officer. Police recorded our complaint against the criminal behaviour of the mob. After seven hours, the door of the stairway was unlocked and we were allowed to leave under the protection of the police. We packed our essentials and left,” she wrote.

When contacted, their landlord, who did not wish to be identified, said: “They left the day after the anti-CAA banner was raised during Amit Shah’s rally. They left with their parents and I have no clue where they are. It was an inconvenience to everyone.” Asked why he had evicted them, he said: “I shouldn’t have made them my tenants in the first place.”

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