Shaheen Bagh: A History of The Iconic Protest Before the Virus Hit
For three months, women at Shaheen Bagh weathered rain, cold, sun, political threats and more, to fight for what they believed were their fundamental rights. They left the protest site because of the spectre of the novel coronavirus on early Tuesday morning, 24 March, but made it clear that it no way signalled the end of their fight.
Here’s the brief history of how the Shaheen Bagh protests unfolded, from start to finish.
For 100 days, the women of Shaheen Bagh didn’t just continue their protest, night and day, but inspired similar sit-in protests across the country.
The protest, which spread out for over a kilometre, was supported by an army of volunteers.
Shaheen Bagh became the epicentre of protest art – from graffiti on the walls to artists like TM Krishna & Shubha Mudgal performing.
The protests were so iconic that they also became the target of inflammatory speech, particularly by ruling party politicians.
On 1 February, Kapil Gujjar opened fire at the protest site, claiming "sirf Hinduon ki chalegi".
Following the coronavirus outbreak, several appeals were made to the protesters to clear the area, but they refused citing they were taking precautions. With an increase in the number of cases across the country, on the morning of 24 March 2020, the protesters were cleared by the Delhi Police.