Around 100 people were detained in India's capital city of Delhi on Monday just when they were about to commence a protest against police action during anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act demonstrations in the city.
They were held outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and Assam Bhawan, where the state government houses are located in the capital city.
The protesters were demanding the resignation of Uttar Pradesh and Assam state chiefs after the police used force against the protestors. They were also demanding the release of detainees who have been held in their states.
According to reports, four people have allegedly been killed in police firing during the protests in Assam, while 18 people have died in Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, more than 7,000 people have been detained in both the states.
On Monday, the detainees in Delhi claimed that most of them were not even part of the protest, but were picked up from public transport.
One detainee, Pallavi Rebbapragada, alleged that she was detained by the police even though she was not accompanying the protesters.
"I’m traumatised on being detained by the police. They threw me into a bus and then detained me at Mandir Marg police station. I had nothing to do with the protest. I had gone to the area for official work”, she asserted.
However, police said prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) ban the assembly of four or more people. The directive is in place in most parts of New Delhi and the students did not have permission to protest.
Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi's state president of the All India Student's Association, alleged being brutally assaulted by Delhi police and picking her up from UP Bhawan.
We have been brutally assaulted by Delhi police and picked up from UP Bhawan.We are only 4 women protestors inside the bus. We don't know where they are taking us.— Kawalpreet Kaur (@kawalpreetdu) December 23, 2019
She also claimed that the Narendra Modi-led government doesn’t want anybody to talk about what is happening in Assam and Uttar Pradesh states.
Protestors have been picked up from Assam Bhawan as well. They have joined us at Mandir Marg Police station. BJP government wants nobody to talk about what is happening in Assam and UP.— Kawalpreet Kaur (@kawalpreetdu) December 23, 2019
Release all detained and jailed in Assam and UP.
Protests over a new citizenship law in India have hit the country since its enactment on 11 December, as the legislation allows citizenship to be granted to non-Muslim immigrants like Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
The Muslim community claims that the law is discriminatory - something Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vehemently rejected.