One month on, women have been at the forefront of the sit-in protest, ever since mid-December, at the Shaheen Bagh area to oppose the contentious Citizenship Amended Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). Occupying the stretch of Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area, people have been protesting, undeterred by the cold winters of the national capital. However, now frequented by politicians across party lines, the protest site at Shaheen Bagh is feared to have been converted into a political hub for leaders to propel their party's agendas.
With the impending Delhi Assembly polls, the stage saw an evident hijack by political parties including--Congress, AAP, AIMIM and the Left. Concerned over the politicisation of the Shaheen Bagh agitation, one of the organisers and a student of JNU, Sharjeel Imam on January 2 announced to withdraw the movement on social media. He said, "to avoid the impending violence from party goons and to avoid politicisation of the stage by parties." The protests gaining momentum amid media coverage, political parties were seen hovering around the area to allegedly gain electoral brownie points.
On December 22, former Union Minister Salman Khurshid turned up at Shaheen Bagh and addressed the protesters. Following his visit to the protest site, the Congress leader tweeted saying, "Amazing what true democracy looks and feels. Thanks to PM Modi for this gift of unity. Shaheen bagh true to its name of a bird flying high."
Congress MP Shahi Tharoor on Sunday joined the Shaheen Bagh demonstration, and called the protesting women the "pride of the city." The Congress leader addressed the demonstrators who have been on an indefinite sit-in since the violence that was unleashed inside the Jamia Milia Islamia University in December last month. After Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar turned up at Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday. The Congress leader, during his address, extended his gratitude to the women of Shaheen Bagh who have braved all odds to sit on the protest against the Modi government.
AAP's controversial leader and Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan also addressed and represented his party at Shaheen Bagh and has been at the forefront of the protests. While CM Arvind Kejriwal his Deputy Manish Sisodia have never visited the site, Khan's showcase of support comes with the Delhi Assembly polls around the corner. Previously, Amanatullah Khan was accused of allegedly delivering a provocative speech during the protests against the CAA and was booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police in Gaziabad for inciting violence through his social media posts
Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM's national spokesperson, Waris Pathan on Tuesday rallied against the government alongside the protesters at Shaheen Bagh in the national capital. During his speech, the AIMIM leader lambasted the BJP-led government and the Delhi Police under the Home Ministry over the violence. In his address, he said, "If their police will use tear gas and bullets, we will use the Constitution. This is the fight of right versus wrong. We will have to face a lot of problems, but we will be successful."
The leaders of the Left party including Kanhaiya Kumar, Brinda Karat and others have been on the streets alongside protesters ever since the unrest began last month. CPI(M) leaders frequently visited and addressed the large gathering at Shaheen Bagh. On December 24, Brinda Karat and Sehba Farooqui took the Modi government to task over their alleged "lies regarding the NRC." Student leader and former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar visited Shaheen Bagh on January 11 and addressed the massive crowd.
Delhi's BJP chief Manoj Tiwari in a twitter video appealed to the thousands of women protesting in the Shaheen Bagh area to call off their agitation. "I am making this video because I am distressed. Lakhs of people in the city are facing inconvenience everyday because of protests at Shaheen Bagh. They are completing a 25-minute journey in two-three hours," the actor-turned-politician said. Protests have erupted across the nation against the CAA, that aims to grant citizenship to 'persecuted' refugees from non-Muslim minority communities in three neighbouring countries--Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.