Over 100 lawyers gathered outside the Jamia Milia Islamia on Saturday to lodge their protest against the amended citizenship act and the National Register of Citizens for India (NRC). The lawyers gathered outside the varsity with posters that said 'We advocates condemn brutal attack on students', 'Stop dividing India, boycott CAA & NRC', 'NRC narak (hell)', 'Uphold the Constitution'.
The advocates gathered near Gate no 7 of the varsity where the main protests were held by the students.
Advocate Syed Asif Iqbal said, "We are around 100 advocates who have decided to express our solidarity with the students of this country. We are marching at the main gate and we will read the preamble of the Constitution to make everyone know that we are a country for all."
The advocates were later joined by the students who shouted slogans and demanded justice for those who were allegedly thrashed by Delhi police last week.
Advocate Tariq Siddique told PTI, "The students and the young who protested against this law have given us the inspiration to protest. JMI is a university that was born out of the freedom movement. It is full of 'Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb' and essence of freedom fighters' movement. The CAA divides the nation on religion and this government is dividing the country on basis of religion."
Senior Advocate S Wasim Qadri said, "This is not a protest of Muslims. Whosoever is open minded and doesn't belong to or believe in 'rightism' is aggrieved by this. When the Constitution was made and this proposal was made, it was rejected. After 70 years they want to bring in the rejected law."
He said that if there was a law against refugees, it should be accepted with a stroke of the pen, but selecting people on the basis of religion or caste and asking them to prove their genealogy it is wrong.
"You are openly saying you will not accept Aadhaar card, voter ID, then what document will you accept for NRC? Is it fair to treat a chunk of people who were a part of the fabric of the country like this," Qadri asked.
Former secretary of the Delhi Bar Council, Advocate Virendra Kasana said, "This act is discriminatory and it should not continue in this country. If you allow certain classes and disallow others, it is not accepted. They are allowing classes that suits them and not allowing that doesn't. (They are) only bringing in polarisation in the country."
The lawyers were joined in by the students of university at the protest.
Waseem Khan, a law student form Jamia said, "The fact that lawyers are marching at a protest shows how flawed the CAA is. Lawyer of all communities are here and their presence has encouraged us more. They are even helping us fight this battle legally."
The lawyers also helped the students to set up a legal desk outside the varsity to aide all those who were affected in last week's violence.
Sharjeel Ahmed, one the volunteers at the legal desk told PTI, "The students who were beaten up, attacked, injured due to police action, women harassed and all who experienced violence and atrocities have been asked to give in their complaints."
The legal desk has developed a standard complaint format for three crimes, harassment/outraging modesty of women, hurt, assault, violence of any kind that brought injuries and criminal intimidation under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code to lodge the complaints.
Seventy students submitted their complaints to the legal desk on November 20 and thirty more students on November 21, Ahmed said.
After the legal desk receives a number of complaints, they will be shared with the advocates representing the students in court to fight a legal battle against the violence, the students added.