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Shaheen Bagh protesters to answer Shah call

'Dadis' to meet home minister

Furquan Ameen New Delhi Published 15.02.20, 05:36 PM
Women and children at Shaheen Bagh on February 11

Women and children at Shaheen Bagh on February 11 (PTI photo)

The dadis of Shaheen Bagh will meet Amit Shah on Sunday, having accepted the Union home minister’s open invitation to anti-CAA protestors to discuss their problems with the controversial law.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, Shaheen Bagh protesters said they would ask “rally to home ministry to talk to Shah as he invited people for a dialogue”.


The women of Shaheen Bagh, invited all those with problems with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) to join in.

“They have to give it to us in writing their assurance on withdrawing the citizenship matrix. Else, we won’t leave this place,” Sarvari, one of the dadis, said.

Earlier in the day, contradictory reports emerged about a delegation of Shaheen Bagh protestors meeting the home minister on Sunday.

Two volunteers from the protest site told The Telegraph that the confusion started after a group of volunteers took to the stage at Shaheen Bagh to announce their intention to meet the home minister.

They had announced that protestors will march to Shah’s house with a charter of demands.

Speaking to media persons, the women protestors said the home minister recently mentioned that those who have a problem with the CAA could meet him to discuss the issue.

On February 13, Shah had said at the Times Now Summit that he was ready to discuss the CAA with anyone, including the protesters of Shaheen Bagh.

Jisko bhi problem hai mere office se samay maange. Main teen din ki avadhi me milunga aur sab se charcha karunga (Whoever has a problem [with the CAA] should seek time from my office. I’ll meet them within three days and discuss),” Shah had said. Though he added that there wasn’t anyone who wanted to discuss the law with him.

Since December 15, Shaheen Bagh ki Auratein (The Women of Shaheen Bagh) have been on a sit-in against the controversial law and the proposed National Register of Citizens.

After the announcement, several women protestors were ready to march to Shah’s house. However, they said since it was a people’s protest, there won’t be delegation; instead, anyone who opposes the CAA could go.

“It was an open call by the home minister so anyone who wants to go, can go,” said one of the volunteers. He also said the dadis won’t be going to Shah’s house.

In the run-up to the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections, Shah and other BJP leaders had made Shaheen Bagh their campaign agenda, with several of them targeting the protest in their rallies.

During his interview, Shah denied that one of his ministers had said that Shaheen Bagh protesters would enter neighbourhood houses to rape and murder women. The statement, made by BJP MP Parvesh Verma, is, however, attracted a campaign ban from the Election Commission.

He also justified Delhi police’s brutal crackdown in Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15. “The Delhi police had entered (the campus) chasing those that burnt buses,” Shah said. “Nobody has the right to burn buses. The two things are different: to peacefully protest and burn buses.”

The protesters don’t have an appointment with the home ministry.

The reports of a meeting with Shah were not confirmed or denied by the home ministry. Calls and messages to the ministry spokesperson went unanswered. However, news agency ANI quoted sources in home ministry saying no such meeting with Shaheen Bagh protestors was scheduled.

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