Anti-CAA agitators celebrate 71st R-Day at Shaheen Bagh

Thousands of anti-CAA protesters celebrate 71st Republic Day at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, unfurl tricolour

Earlier in the wee hours, people joined a mass reading of the Preamble of the Constitution and also sung the national anthem

Anti-CAA protestors waves tri-colours as they celebrate the 71st Republic Day at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. Protests have been going on at Shaheen Bagh for over a month against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed Nation

Thousands of people, who have been an staging indefinite dharna against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) for over a month, unfurled the tricolour on a 55 foot high flag post at Shaheen Bagh, on Sunday celebrating the 71st Republic Day.

Radhika Vemula, mother of Hyderabad university research scholar Rohit Vemula, Saira Bano, mother of 16-year-old Junaid Khan, who was lynched by a mob in a moving train outside Delhi in 2017, jointly hoisted the national flag.

Three elderly women in the age group of 75 to 90 Asma Khan, Bilquis and Sarwari, who have been participating in the anti-CAA protests from the beginning of the protests at Shaheen Bagh and are now popularly known as 'dabang dadis' (grandmothers), also joined Vemula and Khan's mothers in unfurling of the national flag.

Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani, mother of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Najeeb Ahmed, who continues to remain traceless since he went missing from the varsity campus in October 2017, were also present on the occasion.

The women, men and children, who had assembled at the protest site to celebrate the Republic Day, sang the national anthem during hoisting of the national flag. People also chanted “Inquilab zindabad”, “Bharat mata ki jai” and “NRC-CAA murdabad”.

A large number of people, mostly women, have been sitting on an indefinite dharna at Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi area since December 15, demanding roll back of the CAA. They are also protesting the government's decision to update the national population register (NPR) and national register of citizens (NRC) proposal.

Meanwhile, Delhi police registered a case against Sharjeel Imam, an activist and former JNU student, for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches while speaking against the CAA and NRC.

Delhi police has booked Imam under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after an unverified video footage showing him calling for cutting off Assam and North East from the rest of India went viral on social media.

While Assam police has filed an FIR against Imam for his speech under the anti-terror law UAPA, Uttar Pradesh Police has also registered a case against him under various Sections of the IPC, slapping sedition charges, allegedly for delivering an anti-national speech in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on January 16.

Imam is alleged to be one of the organisers of Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests even as the protesters have issued a statement rejecting his any role in the organising of the protest, saying the protest had been led by women of Shaheen Bagh and it was unfair to associate their voice “with any distorted media narrative.”