New Delhi: The Delhi Police cleared the Shaheen Bagh protest site early Tuesday, two days after Section 144 was imposed in the national capital due to the widening coronavirus outbreak.
Shaheen Bagh had become the heart of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests since women from the area launched their agitation on 15 December last year, days after the contentious law was passed by Parliament.
“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.
— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2020
The Delhi Police reportedly also removed tents that marked the site.
“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 protestors have been detained,” the southeast deputy commissioner of police told ANI.
DCP South East: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 protestors have been detained https://t.co/lVgXzL9WD6 pic.twitter.com/0uBdwGHKMw
— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2020
Protests called off all over
Women had been holding a 24*7 sit-in protest at Shaheen Bagh against the CAA, demanding its withdrawal, and talks with the government.
Over three months, the protest continued through biting cold winter nights, heavy rainfall, and even the communal riots in Northeast Delhi last month. At any given time, at least 150-200 women used to be present at the site, sloganeering against the CAA as well as the National Population Register and the proposed National Register of Citizens.
However, since Sunday, when the country observed a ‘Janata curfew’, only five women had been sitting at the Shaheen Bagh site — marking a symbolic protest.
The latest move has come nearly a week after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal banned gatherings in the national capital to deal with the coronavirus spread.
In the wake of his order, the anti-CAA protestors in the city had modified their style, by sitting on wide benches — instead of the floor — and not allowing older women and children to enter. However, several of these protests were called off on 22 and 23 March, after the Kejriwal government announced a complete lockdown.
Delhi has seen a total of 28 confirmed coronavirus cases so far.
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