Jamia Millia Islamia University’s Aysha Renna, who gained popularity for leading the protest against CAA and standing up to protect her fellow college mate during police crackdown, is facing criticism from the party workers of CPI-M and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). The workers are protesting against her for using Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s name in a “distasteful” comment while addressing a rally against CAA and NRC at Malappuram on Saturday.

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Renna was speaking at a gathering organised by the Kondotty Pauravali when she demanded CM Vijayan’s government to release the students and others recently arrested for participating in the protests against CAA and NRC in the state. The use of Kerala CM’s name in her speech did not go down well with the workers of the left party who instantly demanded an apology from Renna. They brought her speech to a halt and asked her to share her opinion at her house. The video of the incident went viral on social media and people are criticising the Left party workers’ anti-women behaviour.

“In the last two weeks, a number of students from Jamia Millia Islamia have been arrested and jailed by the Pinarayi Vijayan government and his police. We demand their immediate release,” Renna said in her speech adding that she also demands the release of Dalit activist Chandrashekhar Azad.

After Renna’s speech, the party workers held a demonstration against her in order to condemn her for calling out the state govt. Renna spoke up about the political protestors and told TNIE, “They would conduct programmes to empower women and, at the same time, take steps to suppress the voices of women. All of them know about it. However, as far as I understand, there are two opinions among the CPM members on my statement. Some members did not want me to apologise.”

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She added, “As a person who led the protest at Kodotty, it was my moral duty to demand the government to free the protesters from the jail. I didn’t make any comment to degrade the party or personally attack Pinarayi Vijayan.” The 22-year-old History student from JMI University has decided to continue participating in protests against CAA and NRC. “I want more women to join the protests and come out on the streets. I will try to motivate as many people as possible including women to join the fight against CAA. I will return to Delhi on January 3 and participate in protests in Delhi being organised by the Jamia Coordination Committee. We will fight until the Central government revokes the Act,” she said.

The use of Kerala CM’s name in her speech did not go down well with the workers of the left party who instantly demanded an apology from Renna. They brought her speech to a halt and asked her to share her opinion at her house.

On the apology demanded by the CPI-M workers, Renna has refused to interest them. “They demanded an apology for making statement against Pinarayi. But I declared that I won’t change my stand and refused to apologise. They told me that I have to express my opinion at home. The activists also showered abusive words. I think the CPM activists showed their anger and protest as I expressed my opinion being a Muslim woman,” Ayesha told Mathrubhumi.

Picture credit: New Indian Express

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