CAA protests: Mother of toddler released after 14-day jail

ANI Varanasi, India Jan 02, 2020, 01.24 PM(IST)

Ekta Shekhar with her 14-year-old baby girl. Photograph:( ANI )

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While Ekta's husband is still lodged in jail, she was released this morning after having spent two-weeks in jail.

Ekta Shekhar, who was arrested along with her husband during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Varanasi, returned home to her 14-month-old child on Thursday morning.

The activist parents of Champak, the infant, were arrested by police in Varanasi for attending a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 19.

While Ekta's husband is still lodged in jail, she was released on Thursday morning.

After being released, Ekta said it was very tough for her to stay away from her baby girl, who relies on breastfeeding.

"I am meeting my child after 14 days. It was very difficult for me to stay away from my daughter for over two weeks as she is just 14-month-old and relies on breastfeeding. I was really worried about her," she said.

Being asked if she regretted participating in the anti-CAA protest, she said: "We have realised that our protest was right. The government must answer questions raised against the CAA and NRC. It was our effort to improve the future of 1,000 children like Champak."

Meanwhile, Champak's grandmother lambasted the central and state government over the alleged crackdown on anti-CAA stir protesters and said: "The leaders who do not have their own families, can they understand the pain of those who have it? They will not rule for more days. No citizen is happy with them."

This comes a day after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi hit out at the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and alleged that a 14-month-child has been separated from her parents, who were jailed by the police for participating in an anti-citizenship law protest in Varanasi.

"The BJP government has shown such inhumanity to suppress the civil demonstrations that a small child has been separated from the parents," Gandhi had tweeted in Hindi.

The grandparents of Champak had said that the child's health is getting deteriorated as she has been living away from her parents.

The Congress leader had also said that it is the "moral duty of the government to allow the innocent mother of this child to go home."

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and came to India on or before December 31, 2014.