Amid the lockdown in the capital to check the spread of COVID-19 , the police in the early hours of Tuesday cleared Shaheen Bagh of those who had protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for over 100 days.
The protests at Nizamuddin, Turkman Gate and Seelampur were also cleared.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) R.P. Meena said a First Information Report, under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code, was being registered. Nine persons, including six women, were detained.
Around 7 a.m., policemen and paramilitary forces reached the site at Shaheen Bagh and asked the 50-odd protesters to vacate the area. “The step has been taken because of the current health situation. The protesters were informed that Section 144 has been imposed in Delhi and most important, the route needs to be cleared because it links Noida and Delhi. In case of any health emergency, vehicles should be able to move,” said Mr. Meena.
The protesters alleged that they were manhandled by police and their belongings were thrown away.
A tent put up outside Jamia Millia Islamia University was also removed.
Supreme Court interlocutors Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran urged the authorities and the Shaheen Bagh protesters not to do anything that might exacerbate the situation when the nation was fighting the coronavirus. The statement came after the authorities removed the protesters from the site.
( Withinputs from Krishnadas Rajagopal )