A 43-day-old infant died allegedly after being constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions at the Idgah ground of Deoband, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where Muslim women have been protesting against CAA and NRC for the last 46 days. The baby girl’s mother was reportedly bringing her to the protest site continuously for the last fortnight to ‘make the child strong”.
According to the protest organiser Amna Roshi, the woman was bringing the child to the sit-in-protest every day despite being warned not to. “I had warned Naushaba several times. I had told her not to carry the child to the protest site as it was cold due to the rains. We had even sent her back home once as she was carrying the child. But she used to say that the baby was getting stronger”, Roshi was quoted in the Times of India report.
According to a report by AmarUjala, the mother, Naushaba, a resident of the town’s Mohalla Barjiaulhak, sat with the infant at the Idgah ground from morning till late evening. She had been doing this for the last fortnight. Many times, Naushaba had even insisted on staying back at the protest site later during the night, but other protestors present there, use to send her back home, considering she carried her infant along with her.
On March 12 (Thursday) Naushaba did not reach the protest site. According to sources, “On Thursday evening, the girl slept and didn’t wake up,” a source close to the family said, adding that she was rushed to the hospital where the doctors declared her brought dead.
The news comes after the January incident where another infant had died after constant exposure to cold weather in Delhi’s winter at Shaheen Bagh. Shockingly, the child’s parents showed no remorse and had declared that they are ready to ‘sacrifice’ their other children.
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the incidence and issued notices to the centre and the Delhi government on the plea to “stop the involvement of children and infants in demonstrations”
These unfortunate developments raise various questions over children being used as props for furthering agenda through protests. Multiple child welfare groups had also raised concerns over children being used during the anti-CAA protests at Jamia and Shaheen Bagh. A complaint was filed with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in January against the use of children during the anti-CAA protests.