In the wake of a nationwide lockdown over the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, Delhi's Shaheen Bagh was cleared on Tuesday morning after 101 days of the sit-in. Delhi Police removed the women who had assembled at the protest site. The protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi have been agitating since December 15 last year over the amended Citizenship Act, NRC, and NPR. On
RP Meena DCP, South-East district said, "We have removed all the people. When we came in the morning lot of ladies were assembled. We have declared assembling like this unlawful. Many outside task force has been deployed here." In visuals, a group of paramilitary forces were seen at the location as the site was getting vacated.
Following the clearance, security was tightened at the protest site as prohibitory order under Section 144 was promulgated in the national capital. The development comes after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal locked down Delhi, which reported 30 Coronavirus cases, including one death. As a part of the lockdown, borders have been sealed, public transport shut, with only the essential services functioning.
Expressing 'great relief' BJP's Gopal Krishna Agarwal said that the Shaheen Bagh protest was 'unnecessary and politically motivated'. He said, "A great relief. It was an unnecessary and politically motivated protest. Caused huge loss of life and property and agony to hundreds and thousands of innocent and unsuspecting citizens of the country." Last week, MoS Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy had said that the Delhi Police had held multiple meetings with the protesters, in an attempt to persuade them into calling off the protest amid the Coronavirus scare.
Last week, despite Delhi Police's persistence, agitators at the Shaheen Bagh protest site claimed that they are following all guidelines and are taking all precautions, seemingly unrelenting on calling off their protest despite the clear safety risk. On March 23, Shaheen Bagh official handle on twitter took on PM Modi's 'clapping and clanging' call during the Janta Curfew, wherein huge crowds of people were seen in parts of the country. In contrast, they said that Shaheen Bagh had only five people present at the site.
Today Only #ShaheenBaghProtest is the place where lesser no.of people (only 5) was present at protest site.— Shaheen Bagh Official (@ShaheenBagh_) March 22, 2020
But in the name of #ThaliBajao & #TaaliBajao party, huge people gathered together & mocked this most serious issues #COVID2019.#JantaCurfew#CoronavirusPandemic
On March 19, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court to remove Shaheen Bagh protesters amid the soaring cases of Coronavirus. Multiple states across the country have taken up measures to contain the spread of the virus, including shutting down schools, universities, malls and other places where a large number of people can gather. Firms have also implemented work from home so as to not expose the employees to the virus.