New Delhi: Protesters at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, who have now been on a sit-in for 50 days against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), on Sunday wrote to Delhi Police, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Election Commission (EC) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking protection in the wake of open threats made against them by a string of top BJP leaders.
The development came on a day locals staged a protest against the anti-CAA protesters due to the latter having taken over a key road connecting Delhi to nearby Noida. It also came just a day after a man was arrested after he opened fire in the area.
The letter was written by various groups of protesters, including ‘Women of Shaheen Bagh’, ‘Forum of Citizen for Equal Rights’, ‘Citizen for Justice and Peace.’ It stated: “The threat to the protest at Shaheen Bagh is real. Threats have been openly made by men in powerful positions. Delhi Police are lawfully bound to train its eyes, ears and lathis on those who seek to violently disrupt this peaceful protest.”
“We urge appropriate action to ensure the safety of peaceful protesters,” it added.
A host of top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and MP Parvesh Verma etc. have targeted Shaheen Bagh protesters in the last few days, in the run-up to the February 8 Delhi Assembly Election.
There have also been incidents of firing at anti-CAA protesters at the nearby Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University. On January 30, a ‘minor’ opened fire at a group of students, injuring one. Late last night, two men on a scooty opened fire outside the university; no injury has been reported in this case.
The top police officer of the Shaheen Bagh area was also removed by the EC on Sunday after the January 30 and February 1 firing incidents.