The women protesting against the CAA and NRC at Clock Tower in Old Lucknow area were made to shiver at night as police walked away with the blankets and quilts on Saturday night. As the word spread, people came out of their homes with more blankets showing solidarity with the protesting women.
“We had a skirmish with the police last night when they came tried to snatch our blankets and quilts. They were able to take away a few blankets but we are still here. If the police want they can take away all the woolens, still we will continue with the protest,” Ayesha Siddiqui, a home maker said.
Hundreds of women, some of them carrying children in their laps, continued their sit-in against the National Register of Citizen and Citizen (Amendment) Act demanding its immediate withdrawal. Carrying anti-CAA, anti-NRC banners and Tri-colour, they sang “Saare jahan se achcha”. The icy cold wind and the thick fog that draped the city could not dampen their spirit.
“If the police feel that they can force us to end this protest by walking away with our blankets and quilt, then they are mistaken. Kambal chori se humey nahi diga sakte, (they can not shake us by stealing away our blankets)” Ayesha said.
The women who are staging dharna for last two days say that the police have stopped men from lighting bonfire there. Locals tried to arrange for carpets and quilts but police did not allow that too. Then women went to their homes and brought their own quilt and blankets.
“Police have taken away those blankets,” Ayesha said, repeatedly calling the Lucknow police as kambal chor (blanket thief).
The protest started impromptu on Friday night and became bigger on Saturday. “Hum Ambedkar Gandhi wale hain, na maanegey na haarengey!” the protesters shouted. Their only demand is that government should withdraw NRC, CAA and NPR.
The police themselves are confused. It never thought that the women protesters will continue with the sit-in the whole night. They earlier thought that women will stage protest for a few hours and then go home. But when the protesters stayed put for the entire night, the police tried to intimidate them by snatching away their quilts and blankets.
Now, the police have started the process of identifying the protesting women and their houses. This protest is unique in the sense that men are not allowed to take part in the protest. Even some political leaders were denied space saying that they will not allow the politicians to hijack their peaceful protest.