Delhi Police on 24 March, cleared the protestors at the Shaheen Bagh area of Delhi, who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. The protesters, which mostly include women, have been there for over the past three months and recently stood in violation of the ongoing lockdown protocol in the national capital.
The Shaheen Bagh protests had polarised public opinion and evoked threats of violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Although, several of these protests were called off on 22 and 23 March, after the Kejriwal government announced a complete lockdown, since Sunday, when the country observed a ‘Janata curfew’, only five women have been sitting at the site, continuing their protest against CAA.
Although, the Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal have been appealing the public to avoid overcrowding and gathering, in light of the virulent spread of COVID-19, protesters continued to violate the restriction. Thus, the Arvind Kejriwal government has on 23 March took further measures to prohibit public gatherings in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Subsequently, the Delhi Police had today deployed additional personnel to the Shaheen Bagh area, as prohibitory orders were in force. Following this, the Shaheen Bagh protest site has been cleared by the Delhi Police personnel.
As per sources, a Delhi Police official has stated that “People at the protest site in Shaheen Bagh were requested today to clear the site as lockdown has been imposed. But after they refused, action was taken against violators as the assembly was unlawful. Protest site has been cleared. Some protesters have been detained.”
Reportedly, 6 women and 3 men from Shaheen Bagh protest site were detained, for violating the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
Similarly, various other areas where the agitations were ongoing against the CAA have also been cleared by the Delhi police. These protest sites include Hauz Rani, Jamia University, Jaffrabad and Turkman Gate.
Delhi has reported 30 coronavirus positive cases, including 1 death. The Delhi government put the national capital on lockdown since 6 am on Monday with all the public transport and non-essential services being suspended till March 31.
Meanwhile, according to the Health Ministry, 492 cases of novel coronavirus have been reported across India and the death toll has risen to 9.