Demonstrations were held here by political and citizen groups on Tuesday against the killing of Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir, even as rains lashed the national capital.
People under different banners gathered at Jantar Mantar, the protest centre of Delhi, even as it poured and voiced condemnation and protest against the killing of pilgrims who were returning from Amarnath pilgrimage.
Scores of citizen gathered under the banner of #NotInMyName, holding placards that said “I condemn Amarnath Yatra killing”.
Another group of protestors had gathered under the banner #IStandWithIndia call for which was given by BJP, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, though they said it was not a political rally, and was a call to citizens and youth to protest the killing of pilgrims.
The Indian Youth Congress also organised a candlelight vigil to protest the attack.
Bilal Zaidi, independent journalist, one of the organisers of the protest under the banner of ‘Not In My Name’, said they were protesting killing of innocent people and there should be no politics over dead bodies.
“After seeing what happened last night (Amarnath killings), we realised that we cannot keep quiet, that we cannot do nothing. There cannot be politics over dead bodies. We are a hashtag, and this hashtag belongs to everyone,” Zaidi told IANS.
“What happened to Junaid was the flashpoint. We cannot leave everything to politicians. As citizens it is our responsibility to raise voice against hatred. On August 27 we are organising 100 + protests against hatred of any kind,” said Zaidi, who is one of the organisers of the protest.
The ‘Not In My Name’ protest was first called to protest incidents of lynching of Muslims and Dalits by mobs across the country, and citizens had gathered at Jantar Mantar on June 29.
Another demonstration was held under the banner of ‘I Stand With India’, which saw protestors hold a 186-foot-long tricolour.
“We gathered to protest under the Indian flag, it was not a political protest, we had given a call to youth to come and stand for India,” Rohit Chahal, who is the spokesperson of BJYM, told IANS.
“We will not tolerate terrorism. Youth are ready to fight. In our demonstration we also expressed our support to the Indian Army, and they should avenge this attack,” Chahal said.
The Indian Youth Congress, meanwhile, organised a Candle Light March in support of pilgrims who were attacked during Amarnath Yatra.
“Pilgrimage has been an integral part of Indian culture and religious sentiments. Every caste, community and faith follows a certain pattern of pilgrimage and it is very essential that the government provide them religious and cultural security,” an IYC statement said.
Seven people were killed and 19 others were injured when terrorists opened fire at a bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Khanabal area on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Monday evening. The state police has blamed the LeT terror group for the attack.