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COVID-19 lockdown: Shaheen Bagh Anti-CAA sit-in protest cleared by police

New Delhi: In wake of complete lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 spread Delhi Police cleared the anti-CAA protest site in Shaheen Bagh in the national capital on Tuesday and detained some protestors.

According to the police, no force was used during the process, however, several protesters, who refused to leave the venue despite continuous persuasion, had to be taken into detention.

Deputy Commissioner of Police R.P. Meena said, “Police requested them to vacate the place but they refused. So, police cleared the area and detained a few protesters.”

The Delhi Police also said, “All protest sites have been cleared — Jaffrabad, Jamia and Turkman Gate. Some persons have been detained at all these places as well.”

The agitation at Shaheen Bagh began on December 15 after the police action in Jamia Millia Islamia where the police allegedly used force against the anti-CAA protesters in which many students were injured.

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According to the locals of Shaheen Bagh, police reached the protest site at around 6.45 a.m. and asked the protesters to vacate the site citing the curfew but they refused which led to their detention.

“We were following precautions for protection against COVID-19, only five of us were sitting on the site but they (Delhi police) did not allow us to protest. They have removed us forcibly,” one of the lady protesters said.

Also Read: WHO Expects India To Take Aggressive Action To Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

Sources in Delhi Police said, “A team of senior police officers reached the site at 6.45 a.m. First, they tried to pacify the protesters. At that time around a dozen persons were present. Usually, very few women protesters remain there during the mornings. And because of the lockdown, their number already was very less.”

The police arrived with trucks and JCB machines and dismantled all the structures and seized the tents.

The police sources say that “Delhi Police will register a case of violation of prohibitory orders against the organisers and the persons detained.”

Police also said, “The Kalindi Kunj road connects Delhi-Noida-Faridabad and it was necessary that essential commodities should also reach the people. It was certainly, the violation of section 144 (prohibitory orders), therefore they cleared the site.”

The protests at Shaheen Bagh had been going on since three months against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). It all started after the police action in Jamia Millia where police used force against the anti-CAA protesters in which many students were injured allegedly.

Shaheen Bagh had become a symbol of anti-CAA protest and was replicated in some other parts. However, amid the fear of the spread of the COVID-19, protests in other places were called off.

Also Read: COVID-19: India Joins Hands To Cheer Coronavirus Warriors

Shaheen Bagh protesters had tweeted on the day of the Janata Curfew after a petrol bomb was hurled at the barricades, “We are committed to cooperating with the law of the land and request all our well-wishers and sympathisers to abide by the same. We are all in this together. We will come back stronger. This is not over.”

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