4-Hour Cap, Kids and Elderly Barred, No Mics: Coronavirus Tweaks to Shaheen Bagh Protests
Muslim women during a protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi, Friday, February 21, 2020. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: In the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the elderly women protesting against the CAA in Shaheen Bagh have decided that no protester will now be allowed to sit at the site for more than four hours as preventative measures against the spread of the virus.
The protesters have also decided that no children or elderly person will be allowed to participate in the sit-in and no announcement or mic will be used at the site as to mark it as a 'silent protest'.
The women protesters said they will continue with their protest on Sunday, the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to remain inside their houses under a self-imposed curfew.
The protesters had earlier said that not more than 50 women had been staging protest at any given time. "On Sunday, we will sit under small tents (at the protest side). Only two women will sit under each tent and maintain a distance of more than a metre between them," a protester who did not wish to be named said.
Another protester, Rizvana, said the women had been taking every precaution and they were covered in burqa all the time. "Washing hands regularly is part of our lifestyle. We offer namaz five times a day and we wash our hands every time," she said.
Ritu Kushik, another protester, said women aged above 70 and children aged less than 10 were not being allowed at the protest site.
"The women are not sitting on the mattresses any more. Cots have been placed and there's a minimum distance of three metres between every two cots. Not more than two women can sit on a cot," he said.
Taseer Ahmad, one of the key organisers, said sanitisers and masks had been arranged in enough numbers, and the protest site was being disinfected at regular intervals.
The protesters have been blocking a side of a road connecting southeast Delhi to Noida since mid-December to protest against the amended citizenship law.