Viral video shows women forming a human shield around their friend being beaten by police for protesting India’s new citizenship law

A group of women in India formed a human shield around their friend in a scene captured on video.

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A group of women in India formed a human shield around their friend in a scene captured on video.
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Screenshot/Twitter
  • Video footage of a group of women forming a human shield around a man who was being beaten by the police during a protest in India has gone viral.
  • The students in the video were protesting India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act, which grants citizenship to certain migrants from three majority-Muslim countries but excludes citizenship for Muslim residents. Many critics of the act say it is anti-Islam and further marginalizes India’s sizable Muslim minority.
  • Violent protests against the newly passed law have erupted throughout the country, resulting in the deaths of six people over the weekend.
  • In the video, the group of women surrounded their male companion who was hit and tackled to the ground by police officers dressed in riot gear.
  • The woman said in an interview after the incident that protesting the bill was a “matter of existence” for many people in the country.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Video footage of a group of women forming a human shield around a man who was being beaten by the police in India has gone viral on social media.

In the video, the police are seen beating a man who was participating in protests against India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act, which grants citizenship to certain migrants from three majority-Muslim countries but excludes citizenship for Muslim residents. Many critics of the act say it is anti-Islam and further marginalizes India’s sizable Muslim minority.

Violent protests against the newly passed law have erupted throughout the country, resulting in the deaths of six people over the weekend. According to Business Insider India’s Preeti Soni, many more have been injured or detained by the police.

Clashes between the police and protesters are particularly tense at the Jamia Millia Islamia and at Aligarh Muslim University, two universities in the country’s capital of New Delhi.

The video shows several police officers in riot gear hitting a man with sticks and dragging him to the ground. A group of women surround the man and create a buffer between him and the police.

“I have no words to even say anything about this video,” said Nabiya Khan, who posted footage of the incident to Twitter. “I am so proud of these women who bravely have showed that they are not scared of the Police.”

The video has been liked and shared thousands of times, and many users have praised the women for their bravery in the incident.

“See who are the real Hero,” one Twitter user commented below the video. “I salute these brave Girls. I am proud I studied in this university.”

The women were all students at Jamia Millia Islamia and were in their early 20s, according to Al Jazeera. They were among thousands who had gathered at the university on Sunday to protest the controversial legislation.

The women told Al Jazeera that the riot police arrived at the university and forced them to seek refuge inside a house nearby. The group were outside the home when the police appeared and began beating their male companion.

“The only thing on my mind at that time was to save my friend,” said Ayesha Renna, 22, according to Al Jazeera, which said she was the first woman to confront the officers.

“There were no lady cops with them, so we thought police will not beat us or touch us and we can very easily save our male friend,” a 22-year-old student named Ladeeda Farzana told Al Jazeera.

“[We had] no fear,” the two women told the journalist Barkha Dutt, who has written columns for The Washington Post, in an interview after the incident.

The women added that protesting the legislation was a “matter of existence” for many in the country.

“They tell women to stay at home and not speak up, but speak up we must,” they said. “Nobody can take our voice.”