After a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir killed seven Amarnath pilgrims on Monday evening, Delhi witnessed several protests and candlelight vigils on Tuesday. While Jantar Mantar saw a gathering of citizens under the #NotInMyName banner, Jamia Millia Islamia was the venue for a candlelight vigil by teachers, students and members of Khudai Khidmatgar. Jantar Mantar, the protest centre of the city, saw at least two other protests organized by the student wings of different political parties. However, despite several protests being planned, the turnout was not huge because of heavy rains.
A candlelight vigil at Jamia Milia Islamia against the attack (BCCL/ Lokesh Kashyap)
Saba Dewan, a Delhi-based documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the #NotInMyName campaign, told us, "We are here today in grief and remembrance of the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims. We believe that every human life is precious and we stand against hatred regardless of the perpetrator." Imad Ulriyaz, a social worker from Kashmir who has been living in Delhi for eight years, said, "I joined the protest as I completely denounce the attack. Every Kashmiri is against it and I came here in solidarity."
Anjali Yadav, a recent graduate from Miranda House, was at Jantar Mantar carrying a placard that read 'Violence is evil. Bas keh diya.' She told us, "I condemn the violence. I remember my grandmother telling me how safe the Amarnath Yatra is. This protest will send across the message that any kind of hatred is not acceptable."
Apart from Jantar Mantar, a candlelight vigil was held at Jamia Milia Islamia, which was orgainsed by the university's teachers, students and with the members of Khudai Khidmatgar (an organization that works to address social and educational issues). While the turnout was low because of the rains, the participants carried placards with messages in solidarity with the Amarnath victims.
The vigil was held at Bab-e-Mahmud-ul-Hasan, the Gate Number 17 of Jamia. Sahil Ahmed, a final-year student at Jamia, said, "When Mahatma Gandhi started the Non-Cooperation Movement, the call to start the Khilafat Movement (which supported Hindu-Muslim unity) was also taken. These two movements contributed to the birth of Jamia, and it is a symbolic place. Hum chahte thay ki yahan se aawaz jayegi toh logon tak pohonchegi. It is important to condemn the attacks because we believe in the philosophy that the world is one family."