The people of Shaheen Bagh who are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and celebrate Valentine’s Day with them on Friday. Earlier it was planned for Feb 14 but since Pulwama attack happened on the 14th, protesters decided to preponed it.
Protesters have been asking PM to meet them and talk about CAA. The protesters sitting at Shaheen Bagh since December 15 last year demanding withdrawal of the CAA and a proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC), will also unveil a “love song” and “a surprise gift” for him.
Posters at the protest site in south-east Delhi and also circulating on social media platforms read: “PM Modi, please come to Shaheen Bagh, collect your gift and talk to us.”
“Whether Prime Minister Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah or anyone else, they can come and talk to us. If they can convince us that whatever is happening is not against the Constitution, we will end this protest,” demanded protestors.
Protests against the CAA and the NRC unfolded at Shaheen Bagh, Zakir Nagar, Jamia Nagar, Khureji Khas and other places in Delhi and elsewhere in the country in December.
The Shaheen Bagh protesters have pitched a tent on a main road linking Noida to southeast Delhi via the Kalindi Kunj bridge, which, according to an official estimate, witnesses movement of around 1.75 lakh vehicles on a daily basis.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, after being subjected to religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. The law excludes Muslims.
Those opposing the law contend that it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution. They also allege the CAA, along with the NRC, is intended to target the Muslim community in India. However, the Centre has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the law is intended to give citizenship to persecuted people from the three neighbouring countries and not to take away the citizenship of anyone.