Two women at Bilal Bagh protest launch hunger strike

Two women at Bilal Bagh protest launch hunger strike against Citizenship Act

Two Pillanna Garden residents, Amreen (left) and Warsi, on a hunger strike near Tannery Road on Wednesday. Courtesy Saqib Idress

Two women have launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), starting from Tuesday.

Warsi, 28, who of the handful of organisers of the “BilalBagh” protest taking part off Tannery Road in Pillanna Garden, said she and a companion, Amreen, 30, decided to launch the hunger strike to try to force the hand of the state government.

“Our primary demand is the state government make its position clear on whether or not it will implement the CAA and the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) in Karnataka. We also want Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to address the people of the BilalBagh protest,” she said.

The pair launched their hunger strike at 8 am on Tuesday and said they had not had any food or water since then. At about 8 pm on Wednesday, the two women were put on IV drips, although both continued to abstain from food and water.

“Bilal Bagh,” an unauthorised continuous protest which has taken shape along part of 9th Main Road astride the Masjid-E-Hazrath Bilal, is set to enter its 13th day on Thursday. The venue has drawn celebrities, former government officials and activists. It has also drawn stiff police pressure, protest leaders claim. This pressure has been amped by the appearance of several politicians.

The protest leaders expressed concern that this would alter the political nature of “Shaheen Bagh.” “Several local corporators have come here as have other politicians, but we are clear about not giving them a platform to speak,” said Saqib Idrees, a student protester.

On Tuesday night, Jayanagar MLA Soumya Reddy was among those at the protest, although Idrees said she was there purely as a private citizen and did not speak at the rally.

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