Delhi: Soon after concluding the afternoon prayers Friday, hundreds of people gathered outside Jama Masjid in Old Delhi demanding repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act and scrapping of the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The protesters also sought to do away with the National Population Register (NPR) in its current form. But unlike on December 20, when Old Delhi saw violence in the evening, the day went off peacefully, albeit under heavy police presence.
The protest was led by Congress MLA Alka Lamba, former MLA Shoaib Iqbal and councillor from Delhi Gate Aaley Muhammad Iqbal.
Addressing the crowd, Lamba hit out at PM Narendra Modi. “When PM came to Ramlila Maidan, we were expecting he will cool tempers, but he lost the opportunity. He said that all those opposing (CAA and NRC) are either from Congress or ‘urban naxals’,” she said, adding that the PM must acknowledge that protesters are just ordinary people of the country.
“You (Modi) should now call a special session and repeal the citizenship amendment act; then tempers will come down,” she said.
Wearing a hijab, Lamba took a jibe at the PM: “He says ‘identify them by their clothes’. I want to say that, like me, every Indian has started changing how they dress. Now try identifying who is Muslim, who is Hindu and who is Sikh in this crowd.”
Hitting out at the NPR exercise, Shoaib Iqbal said: “They say NPR is from the Congress era, but what they are not telling us is that they have added many new questions and they are linking it with Aadhaar to know every information.”
“They earlier said Pakistan jao, Pakistan jao… we want to say hum Pakistan nahin jayenge, kabristan zarur chale jayenge,” he said. “Those who create violence do not belong to us. This is a movement and it will go on. We would not tolerate any violence,” he added.