A man painting over protest graffiti at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
A man painting over protest graffiti at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: After clearing protest sites at Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia Islamia early Tuesday, Delhi Police dismantled all art installations, and graffitis at both places were seen to be painted over.

“We removed all the material that was obstructing the pathway. Now that the protests have been cleared, we did away with the materials too,” DCP southeast R.P. Meena told ThePrint

However, he denied painting over the artwork at the two sites, claiming that civic authorities may be responsible for that.

“The local administration and authorities might be behind the painting of the walls, to bring them to their original condition,” Meena said.

The Shaheen Bagh protest, which became synonymous with the agitations against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act across the country, was dispersed amid the coronavirus outbreak and the few agitators present were detained by the police.

The move came after the Delhi government imposed a total lockdown in the national capital and imposed Section 144 to curb further spread of the infection.

According to Faizal Dilshad, a resident of B.R. Ambedkar hostel in Jamia Millia Islamia, “They (the authorities) came here with buckets of white paint to deface all the protest-related slogan graffiti on the university walls.

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“This happened around 7.30 am. There was suddenly heavy deployment of the police forces around the university and subsequently they started getting all the slogans and graffiti erased from the walls of the university,” Salman Sayed, a resident of Jamia Nagar, who was present at the site told ThePrint.

The Delhi Police also used drones to monitor the situation around the university after the protest sites were cleared.

“While we were clearing the protest sites in Jamia, Shaheen Bagh and other areas today, some people have been arrested and detained as we faced a little difficulty. However, I am happy to tell that there was no resistance shown by people,” said Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava.


Also read: Jamia, Hauz Rani, Mumbai Bagh: Coronavirus forces anti-CAA organisers to suspend protests


‘Attack on remnants of protest’

However, many accused the police of selectively defacing protest graffiti and artwork, especially since the protest in Jamia had been voluntarily called off on 21 March due to COVID-19.

“This was an attack on the remnants of our protest, as they selectively defaced graffitis with slogans of Faiz, Pash and Manto while leaving everything else as it is,” said Saima Sayeed, a Mass Communication student of the university.

The painted over walls at Jamia Millia Islamia | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
The painted over walls at Jamia Millia Islamia | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Similar scenes panned out at other protest sites in the capital as well. The protests at Hauz Rani and Turkman Gate were called off Monday, but the police still cleared the sites completely, dismantling all structures.

“The police barged in at the site, and completely dismantled the tents, broke down the scaffolding and even took away the mattresses. Why do this when there were no protesters in sight anymore? This shows the priority of the police in the time of a lockdown and a pandemic,” an organiser of the Hauz Rani protest, who did not want to be named, told ThePrint.

Meanwhile, at Shaheen Bagh, people gathered around what was once the protest site as the police tried to disperse them.

People being dispersed at Shaheen Bagh by police | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

“They took away the tent, the India Gate replica and other artwork as well,” Khurshid Alam, one of the organisers of the Shaheen Bagh protest told ThePrint.

He added that they have no plans to reassemble any time soon. “We will wait till 31 March, at least. We will plan what we will do next after the lockdown ends.”

With inputs from Samyak Pandey. 


Also read: Shaheen Bagh couldn’t get CAA revoked. But Gandhi’s satyagraha didn’t meet its goal either


 

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11 Comments Share Your Views

11 COMMENTS

  1. India is a democratic nation and the decisions ought to be on the floor of the house and not in streets . Protests have a place earmarked follow the law

  2. Jitna chahe ye sab kr lo.. Kyaa hoga whte wash se?? Kuch nhi desh jaag gya hai… Is desh ne dekh liya h students ka jazbaa or taqat…koi ya na samjhe k hum students ko hata diya jamia se… Hum wapas aayenge… Or shanti se jse chal rha tha vaise hi chalega…. Saekaar ko ye law wapas lena hoga…. Jai bheem jai hind..

  3. Police ne un logo ko arrest kyun nhi kiya jo log slogans pe white wash kar rahe thhe. JMI ki property hai wo. Fascist sarkar kahin yeh toh nhi soch raha ki dewaar ki painting sey bhi Corona ho jaega. Bahana mila nhi air kayar ki trah aa gaye protest htane.

  4. I am painting Mothers Pride and I just noticed some of the numbers wore off now I do not know what two to blend or what the colors are. Some are obvious but others not. Do you have a listing of the numbers? I am painting this for my granddaughter for Christmas. Did one for her birthday and she loves it. Thank you.

  5. This entire news portal is anti-national. Not once did I see any criticism of the protests by ‘The Print’ even during last two weeks. But when these idiots are finally removed, that move is criticized well by this portal. ‘The Print’ has found many shortcomings of the way protests were cleared by the police.

  6. A place where people ideology was of hope that one day the dark ages would be back in INDIA and a nation who wants to be leader in science and maths would be riding camels instead

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