In what can only be described as a major ‘plot twist’, an activist from south Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, which had emerged as a hotbed of anti-CAA protests in the capital, from December till March, joined the Centre’s ruling BJP on Sunday.
Notably, the activist, Shahzad Ali, was among those who sat in protest against the CAA-NRC-NPR combine in Shaheen Bagh. However, today, while joining the BJP, he said that he was joining the party to prove that it was not an ‘enemy’.
I have joined the BJP to prove wrong those in our community who think that the party is our enemy. We’ll sit together with them over their CAA concerns,” he said after being inducted into the saffron party by Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta and leader Shyam Jaju.
Delhi: Shaheen Bagh social activist Shahzad Ali joins BJP in presence of State BJP President Adesh Gupta & leader Shyam Jaju. Shahzad Ali says, "I have joined BJP to prove wrong those in our community who think BJP is our enemy. We'll sit together with them over CAA concerns." pic.twitter.com/bJyhGp7MMb
— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2020
The anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh began on December 15 after the Delhi Police’s crackdown on the anti-CAA protesters at the Jamia Millia Islamia University earlier that evening. Led mostly by women, the protests became a major issue during February’s Delhi Assembly polls as the protesters had blocked a major road connecting Delhi with its satellite city of Noida, thus inconveniencing lakhs of commuters every day.
The protest site was eventually cleared on the morning of March 24 as the protesters were not willing to budge despite concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Later that day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.