Women addressing the press conference.
Residents sitting round the clock for over two weeks at south Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh to protest against the controversial CAA, NRC and NPR condemned the violence unleashed upon the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday, January 6.
The protesters, in a press conference on Monday, called the attack on the students of JNU as “state-sponsored ambush” which was “supported by Delhi Police’s inaction.”
The terror unleashed on the varsity by a masked mob – who allegedly belonged to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – on Sunday left many students and teachers severely injured including JNU Students’ Union’s president Aishe Ghosh. Property on the campus was also damaged in the attack.
On Monday, protests erupted in universities across the country by students extending their support to JNU. “We extend strong solidarity to all our allies in this struggle against the discriminatory and oppressive BJP government,” protesters at Shaheen Bagh said in a statement.
Also read: Masked Men Attack JNU Students, Teachers. Protests Continue
Tarannum Begum, 45, one of the protesters, while addressing the media shared the fear of the women protesters of witnessing a similar attack at Shaheen Bagh protest area as well. “First, the students of Jamia were brutally beaten up and then yesterday, JNU students were assaulted. The BJP government is trying to mute every dissenting voice,” she said, while speaking to NewsClick.
“We fear similar actions can be taken against us also,” she added.
As reports of violence inside JNU surfaced in the media on Sunday night, the panic didn’t leave Shaheen Bagh untouched as well. Tension remained high among the protesters all night as rumours of police action on the protesters did the rounds.
“There were rumours that the police will make an attempt to disperse the protesters early in the morning,” Khursheed told NewsClick, adding that, “which is why all the volunteers here were alerted in advance.”
Notably, the police did enter the protest area in the afternoon and had removed the barricades. Though the police claimed that it was to resolve an argument between a few protesters and a shop owner,, protesters on the other hand believe it was to keep the stir in control, as per a report in The Hindu.
Also read: If You Have Not Been There Yet, Go to Shaheen Bagh Now
In a statement issued on Monday, the protesters also claimed they have information about the “devious elements” which are trying to “instigate disharmony” in the peaceful protest.
Thousands of Shaheen Bagh residents, spearheaded predominantly by women, came out on December 15 to protest against the Delhi Police action in Jamia Millia Islamia campus. The demonstrators have blocked NH 24 - which connects the national capital to Uttar Pradesh’s Noida - on one side. Monday marked the 24th day of their indefinite protest.