Varanasi Toddler Awaits Return of Parents Held During CAA Protest

The couple was arrested last week for participating in an anti-CAA protest defying prohibitory orders.

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Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Video Producer: Sonal Gupta

"She suddenly wakes up at night and starts looking for her parents. Unable to find them, she starts crying," said Sheila Tiwari, who has been looking after her 15-month-old granddaughter Ayra.

Ayra’s parents were arrested last week for participating in an anti-CAA protest defying prohibitory orders in Varanasi.

“Sometimes we tell her that her parents have gone to work and will be back soon,” Tiwari, 68, said.

On 19 December, people gathered in Beniya Bagh area of Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, to protest the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), defying Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) imposed by police.


Ayra's parents, activists Ekta (32) and Ravi Shankar (36), who run an NGO, Climate Agenda, were among those arrested in connection with the protest.

According to police, the couple faces serious charges.

Tiwari said it is hard for Ayra to not have her parents around.

“The girl is not eating properly. She keeps thinking of her parents. We give her false hope and she eats a little.”
Sheila Tiwari

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