Hours after the people were removed from the protest site on Tuesday, anti-CAA protesters again gathered in Delhi’s southeast in the Saheen Bagh neighbourhood, defying the lockdown amid the coronavirus scare.
People gathered in huge number in the streets of Shaheen Bagh despite prohibitons (section 144) imposed in the city by Delhi police till 31 March to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code bans assemblies of four or more people in one place.
Delhi: Locals gather near the anti-CAA protest site in Shaheen Bagh which was cleared by police today morning, amid complete lockdown in the national capital to prevent the spread of #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/sevqGyvNqQ— Seshan Ranganathan Indian (@seshanm) March 24, 2020
#Delhi: Locals gather near the anti-CAA protest site in Shaheen Bagh which was cleared by police today morning, amid complete lockdown in the national capital to prevent the spread of #Coronavirus #ShaheenBagh #ShaheenBaghProtest pic.twitter.com/FqN1Ac9Zn2— Mohd Lateef Babla (@lateefbabla) March 24, 2020
In the wee hours of 24 March, police along with security forces cleared eight protest sites across India's capital by dismantling tents in various places, including Hauz Rani, Jamia University, Jaffrabad and Turkman Gate.
Nine people, including six women were detained for violating prohibitory orders and resisting.
About 50 protesters were at the venue when police vacated the site in Shaheen Bagh.
"People at the protest site in Shaheen Bagh were requested today to clear the site as the lockdown has been imposed. But after they refused, action was taken against violators as the assembly was unlawful. The protest site has been cleared. Some protesters have been detained," a top police official from Southeast Delhi said after clearing the protest site on Tuesday.
Delhi police, along with Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal had urged the anti-CAA protesters to vacate the protest site due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The protesters had refused to end the agitation and said the sit-in would continue but necessary precautions would be taken.
Police act against anti-citizenship law protestors at famous #ShaheenBagh. Protest site is being cleared. Protest at this site was started in December 2019. #Covid_19india #CoronaUpdatesInIndia @SputnikInt pic.twitter.com/iVLFV2FUis— Rishikesh Kumar (@rishhikesh) March 24, 2020
The Shaheen Bagh protest had dominated media headlines since it began on 15 December following the passage of Citizenship Law, which was introduced by the Narendra Modi government to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from three Muslim-majority nations - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
As per the latest data released by the Indian health ministry, Delhi has 30 coronavirus positive cases among the 492 total cases in the country. So far the viral infection has taken the lives of nine people. 32 states and union territories have been put under complete lockdown to break the chain of transmission of the virus, with public transport banned, borders sealed and a prohibitory order imposed.