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COVID-19: Park Circus CAA protest scaled down; batch of 7 to

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

The indefinite sit-in by about 50 women against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Park Circus Maidan here was scaled down on Tuesday as the organisers decided that a batch of seven people will now conduct a relay protest till the coronavirus crisis gets over.

There would be seven protesters as a congregation of more than seven people has been prohibited by the state government in its lockdown notification.

The sit-in demonstration on the lines of Shaheen Bagh in Delhi began at Park Circus Maidan on January 7 with 60 women protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

"We were requested by the government to stop the gathering of protesters as a sit-in on a rotational basis. This has been allowed by the government," said Asmat Jamil, one of the organisers of Park Circus sit-in.

The seven people will sit at a safe distance from each other taking every precaution required, she said.

"We are fighting for our rights. But to do so, we have to be alive. The coronavirus outbreak is causing havoc across the world," Jamil said.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha welcomed the move, but said the protest should be called off now as the country is facing an "emergency medical situation and this not a time for politics".

People of West Bengal woke up to empty roads and deserted public places as the five-day lockdown in vast swathes of the state entered the second day on Tuesday. The lockdown that began at 5 pm on Monday will continue till March 27.

The lockdown applies to areas under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, all municipal towns in North 24 Parganas district besides Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, West Burdwan, North Dinajpur and Howrah districts.

Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kurseong towns have also been put under lockdown.

"People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services. Any congregation of more than seven persons shall be prohibited in public places," the notification announcing the lockdown had said.

However, foodgrains, groceries, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, bread, milk, medical services, home delivery, petrol pumps, pharmacies, the IT sector and banks and ATMs, among others, have been exempted from the purview of the lockdown.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 15:30 IST