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Delhi lockdown: Anti-CAA protesters removed from Shaheen Bagh, other places

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

People protesting against the citizenship law at Shaheen Bagh and other places were removed by the Delhi Police on Tuesday morning amid the coronavirus lockdown in the national capital, officials said.

A total of nine protesters including six women were detained at Shaheen Bagh and taken to a nearby police station, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) R P Meena said.

The agitators, mostly women, had been on a sit-in at the site for over three months to protest the newly amended Citizenship Act.

People were requested to vacate the site as a lockdown has been imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, action was taken when refused to move, Meena said.

About 50 protesters including men were at the venue in Shaheen Bagh.

"Most of the protesters vacated the site after police made an appeal but a few refused. So, police detained them," a volunteer at the site requesting anonymity said.

A decision about resuming the protest will be taken after the coronavirus situation comes under control, he added.

On Sunday, during the 'Janta curfew', only five women were at the site while others had left their slippers as a symbol of solidarity.

The women were taking all precautions amid the coronavirus outbreak and sanitisers had been arranged at the venue to ensure utmost hygiene, the volunteer said.

Unidentified men had hurled "inflammable substance" near the site on Sunday but none of the five women protesters present there were injured.

Other protest sites in the national capital including Jafrabad in northeast Delhi, Turkman Gate in central Delhi and Hauz Rani in south Delhi too were cleared by the police.

Protesters at Hauz Rani vacated the site at around 7 am, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur.

"Only two-three protesters were there... After we made an appeal, they left the spot," he said.

The move comes two days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a complete lockdown in the national capital till March 31 in order to control the spread of coronavirus.

The Delhi Police has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the national capital till March 31 banning protests and other gatherings.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code bans assembly of four or more people in one place.

According to the health ministry data updated on Tuesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 492. The figure includes at least 41 foreign nationals and the nine deaths reported so far.

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

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 13:50 IST