Amidst Lockdown, Shaheen Bagh Protest Site Cleared by Police

Shaheen Bagh had become the heart of the anti-CAA protests since 15 December last year, days after the law was passed by Parliament.

New Delhi| The Shaheen Bagh protest site, where hundreds of women were stationed for several months for the agitation against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), has been cleared by Delhi Police personnel.

Delhi Police forcefully evicted the protesters from Shaheen Bagh after they showed some resistance. Only a few women protesters were still at the Shaheen Bagh site while the others had left and kept only their slippers to show solidarity.

“The protest site was cleared around 7 am Tuesday. There were five women who were sitting in the protest last night. In the morning, we were told they have been removed,” Khurshid Alam, one of the protest organisers, told ThePrint.

Cops reached the site of the protest – which had inspired similar demonstrations across the country – at around 7 am. “They were not clearing the protest site despite repeated persuasion. When they refused to clear up, they were removed forcefully at around 7:30 am,” said an official, adding that large gatherings have been banned under Section 144 over COVID-19. Nine people, including six women and three men, have been detained.

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“The protest site would be cleaned up with the help of the civic body,” he added. Those protesting against CAA in other parts of the city – Jaffrabad (Northeast Delhi) and Turkman Gate (old Delhi) – were also removed this morning.

This comes two days after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a lockdown in the city as a part of the imposition of countrywide restrictions in the fight against coronavirus. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” he had tweeted.

The Delhi government put the national capital on lockdown since 6 am on Monday and all public transport and non-essential services have been suspended till March 31.

On Sunday, some unidentified men hurled “inflammable substance” near the site of anti-citizenship law protest in Shaheen Bagh but none of the five women protesters present there were injured.

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