NEW DELHI – "Go Back! Go back! “The women called to the riot police when a man was dragged onto the street and beaten with wooden sticks.
The women formed a human shield around the man on the street, even as the police continued to hit him before he finally retired and allowed the bloody man to stand up and tell everyone to go back to the Go home.
Recordings of the incident that was filmed in New Delhi yesterday have spread like wildfire as a protest across India, a new citizenship law that has been criticized as breaking out across the country against Muslims.
Shameful and disgusting police response
It is your job to de-escalate the situation and not fight back, hit people and stir up violence!
6:06 p.m. – December 15, 2019
The protests are on their fifth day when the authorities in parts of the country react with persistent police operations and Internet shutdowns. The online power outage occurs as the controversial Kashmir region continues to be paralyzed by a government shutdown of the Internet.
Adnan Abidi / Reuters
A man runs past a burning bus in New Delhi on Sunday that was set on fire by demonstrators in a protest against a new citizenship law.
Indian lawmakers voted last week on the Citizenship Change Act. The new measure provides a path to Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. But the definition of the religious minority includes almost all religions except Islam.
P. Ravikumar / Reuters
Demonstrators participating in a protest in Chennai on Monday show a poster with a law against change in citizenship (CAB).
The passed law follows comments from the Indian Home Secretary that the government is launching a new nationwide campaign to identify undocumented migrants, and both have raised concerns that India's Hindu-nationalist ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Indian Muslims should be arrested and deported in a targeted manner.
Critics say the law violates the principles of establishing India as a secular democracy. Last week protests originally broke out in northeastern India and have spread to other major cities.
P. Ravikumar / Reuters
A protester in Chennai, India, holds a sign of solidarity with students from Jamia Millia Islamia.
The clash between the women who defended their friend and riot police took place near the campus of the renowned Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, where protests took place on Sunday.
During the demonstrations There were peaceful clashes that later broke out when the police moved in. The online footage shows the police firing tear gas into the university library and attacking students in the campus baths.
I will document police brutality in this thread against demonstrators. #CABProtest #IndiaAgainstCAB
– Young girls who protested, badly beaten. Some of them hurt.
12:01 – 15 Dec 2019
Two of the women who helped the man in the video were identified as Ladeeda Sakhaloon and Ayesha Renna, both 22 years old and university students.
The two women can also be seen prominently in another viral picture from the protests of the university, singing slogans standing on a wall.
Around the night before, women from Jamia Millia Islamia set the course to oppose the Citizenship Change Act and call on all Indian NRCs. #CABEkDhokaHai
04:52 – 13.12.2019
In one of their first interviews, they told Indian broadcaster Barkha Dutt that they had no choice but to defend their friend from the riot police.
"We are not afraid" -Ladeeda Farzana & Ayesha Renna 22 & from Kerala. They were the center of 2 viral images from #Jamia, one of which sees women striking the sky with astride a roof, and the other that surround a male friend to save him from Lathis. I met her. Excerpts
09:59 – 16.12.2019
"We were not afraid," said Sakhaloon. "He is our brother."
Taken together, the images of young women singing slogans and defending their friend have led to comparisons between the protests in India and the women who led the uprising in Sudan earlier this year.
The government claims that Muslims do not need special status as they are not a minority in India's majority Muslim neighbors, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Monday that the law “does not apply to any Indian citizen of any religion. ”
I want to assure my compatriots that CAA does not affect any Indian citizen of any religion. No Indian has to worry about this law. This law is only intended for those who have been subjected to years of persecution and have no place other than India.
08:34 – 16.12.2019
Due to internet closures, many protesters were unable to read Modi's tweets.
Matthew Champion also reported from London.