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Delhi violence: Let there be peace and love, say protesters at Jantar Mantar

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
With peace songs, protest poems, and banners against violence and for communal harmony, hundreds gathered at the Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday and appealed for peace and harmony in the riots-hit northeast Delhi.
'I am ashamed', 'I am shocked' and 'This is not my Delhi' become a familiar refrain among those who gathered at the venue. Some protesters also recited 'Dastur', a poem by revolutionary poet Habib Jalib.
"Kyuun darate ho zindan ki divar se, zulm ki baat ko jahl ki raat ko main nahin manta, main nahin janta (Don't scare me with your jails, the tongue of oppression, the night of ignorance I refuse to accept)," recited Anshul Gupta, a student of Delhi University, who was also holding a placard featuring the same lines.
He said he was here because "Delhi is burning and we all need to do our bit to douse the fire".
The two days of communal mayhem led to the death of at least 24 people in the northeast areas of Delhi leaving. Several people were injured in the violence, triggered by clashes between two groups over the Citizenship Amendment Act.
While there was a placard calling the violence "pogrom, not clash", or the one which read "Error 404 Humanity not found", majority were found to be against "failure of Delhi Police" and demanding action against BJP leader Kapil Mishra.
During his pro-CAA demonstration at Maujpur Chowk, Mishra had issued an ultimatum to police to vacate the roads blocked by anti-CAA protesters in Jaffrabad and Bhajanpura areas in three days, warning that he will come back on the streets if no action was taken.
CPI General Secretary D Raja, CPI(M) leaders Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat and others took part in the protest, which majorly saw participation by college-going students and civil society.
"This is the not the time for speech or applause. Today our foremost concern is that peace should be restored in Delhi. We all need to stand united and fight the enemy together. People, our brothers and sisters, who were affected by the violence should know that Bharat stands with them in this time of distress," said 67-year-old Yechury.
Throughout the protest there were constant appeals for people -- especially lawyers and doctors -- to volunteer in helping the victims. An announcement was also made for people to contribute for medicines being transported for the treatment of injured.
"We all need to come out and do everything possible to curb this spread of fear and hate among people. This is the need of the hour. It can be anything, you can reach out to people in your mohalla, go to their homes and spread the message of peace, don't think is a small thing...it would go a long way in ensuring that there is no more hate around us," said activist Kavita Krishnan.
Former planning commission member Sayeeda Hammed took to Sahir Ludhiyanvi's revolutionary song, 'Ye kiska lahu hai, kaun mara, Ae rehbar mulko kaum bata' to make her point.
"It look as if Sahir wrote this poem today only, but the fact is that he wrote this good 70 years back. The poem is addressed to national leaders, families who lost their young ones, poor whose house were burnt, and to all those whose lives will never be the same after what happened here in Delhi," she said.
Various eminent personalities from all walks of life, including historian Sohail Hashmi, senior advocate Vrinda Grover and theatre artist and activist M K Raina, participated in the protest.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 8:46 PM IST

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