NEW DELHI – Thousands of people turned out in the flag-hoisting ceremony at Shaheen Bagh, the epic-center of anti-CAA protests, on the Republic Day.
The national flag was hoisted at the protest venue by the mother of Rohith Vemula, deceased student of University of Hyderabad. Vemula’s pictures have recently surfaced as a face of anti-CAA protest in an indication of attempts to forge Muslim-Dalit unity on the issue.
Rohith’s mother was accompanied by the famous “dadis” of Shaheen bagh and former JNU student Umar Khalid and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani.
The protesters, numbering a few thousand, recited the national anthem in unison as they observed India’s 71st Republic Day.
The preparations for the celebrations had begun at least two days earlier, with volunteers sharing messages inviting people to reach the protest site and aim for a headcount of at least lakhs of people, and in the process to create a sort of world record.
The national anthem recital was followed by sloganeering of “Bharat Mata ki jai”, “inquilab zindabad” and “NRC-CAA murdabad”.
Shaheen Bagh has been the site of a protest where a large number of anti-CAA protesters, primarily women and children, have been camping since December 15.