Efforts to convert Republic Day into a show of strength for the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protesters ended on a relatively placid note - with crowd turnout on Sunday remained below five thousand as against the expected ten lakh people claimed. A protester at the venue conceded that they had hoped to attract ten lakh people for the event but could not.
The national flag was hoisted at the protest venue by the mother of Rohith Vemula, a deceased student of the University of Hyderabad. Vemula's pictures have recently surfaced as a face of anti-CAA protest in an indication of attempts to forge Muslim-Dalit unity on the issue.
Rohith's mother was accompanied by the famous "dadis" of Shaheen bagh and former JNU student Umar Khalid.
The protesters, numbering a few thousand, recited the national anthem in unison as they observed India's 71st Republic Day.
The preparations for the celebrations had begun at least two days earlier, with volunteers sharing messages inviting people to reach the protest site and aim for a headcount of at least ten lakh people, and in the process to create a sort of world record.
However, the number of attendees at the Shaheen Bagh protest, on Sunday, did not cross the 5000 marks, according to observers.
The national anthem recital was followed by sloganeering of "Bharat Mata ki jai", "inquilab zindabad" and "NRC-CAA murdabad".
Shaheen Bagh has been the site of a protest where a large number of anti-CAA protesters, primarily women, and children, have been camping since December 15.