Tension prevails in Jamia area, normal life affected
It's noon and 31-year-old Haris Rao is still waiting for the first customer at his stationery shop in the Batla House market adjoining Jamia Millia University.
New Delhi: It's noon and 31-year-old Haris Rao is still waiting for the first customer at his stationery shop in the Batla House market adjoining Jamia Millia University.
Business has taken a hit due to the tension that gripped the areas adjoining Jamia Millia University following violence during a protest over the amended Citizenship Act on Sunday.
The markets in the Batla House, New Gole, Abu Fazl, Zakir Nagar and Gaffar Manzil areas wore a deserted look on Tuesday morning as well.
"I sell pens, notepads and books. I remain connected to students and I feel their pain. They all are our brothers and sisters," he said, talking about the "police brutality" that sent shockwaves in the area on Sunday.
Rao's shop remained close for the last two days. "Who would feel like studying in such a situation," he asked.
Mohhamad Ali Javed, 22, who runs a cubicle-sized mobile recharge shop, said it remained shut for the last two-three days due to the "hungama" (commotion) in the area.
"A few people who know me personally asked me to get the recharges done from home. That's the only business I conducted in the last two days," he said, adding there's hope that the situation will normalize soon.
Aftab Rao, who owns a merchandise store in the Kotla market, said his shop remained shut as he joined the protest against the police atrocities on Jamia students and the amended Citizenship Act along with his eight-year-old daughter.
"When I watched the news of police beating up our girls in bathrooms, libraries and mosques (on the campus), my eyes welled up with tears and I decided to join the protesters," he said.
"It's not about religion, any father would do the same. We are fighting for the right cause," Rao, 36, added.
Shopkeepers and daily wagers huddled into small groups around bonfires and condemned the police action.
"Only God knows what they (government) want," one of the persons said. "To throw us out of the country," another replied.
A shoe store owner who did not wish to be identified said most of the shopkeepers took part in the protest on Sunday and Monday.
"Police made a big mistake by attacking our sisters," he said.