Delhi Police arrested 10 Shaheen Bagh protestors, including six women and four men, on March 24 who were sitting on protest despite being warned to vacate the place in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
The Shaheen Bagh protest entered its 101st day on Monday, March 23, as police took action against the protestors and removed them from the protest site. The police later sanitized the entire area to avoid the possibility of COVID-19 contamination.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of South-East Delhi RP Meena said that on November 15 last year, Road No. 13-A, Shaheen Bagh (State-highway) was blocked by the protestors. People were staging a protest against the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizen (NRC) and were not allowing commuters and vehicles to pass through, thus causing inconvenience to more than one lakh people in the area.
"Presently, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading and infecting the people all over the world, including India. The government is taking various safety measures to break the chain of spread for this deadly disease. As the said virus is highly contiguous, there was strong apprehension of it spreading to the large number of people protesting at Shaheen Bagh," said DCP Meena.
The official said that prohibition orders under Section 144 of CrPC were passed by the Delhi Government as well as Delhi Police, keeping in mind the possible consequences of the continued protest at Shaheen Bagh in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. However, the protest seemed to be in progress despite several requests and guidelines issued by the GNCT and Delhi Police.
"To avoid any further spread of the disease, the protestors were removed from the site. First, an appeal was made to the protestors to voluntarily suspend the protest in view of the national lockdown. Prohibitory orders were issued as well but they did not move from the site. Hence, we took action and removed all the protestors. We also removed their tents and other materials and cleaned the road," informed DCP Meena.
A clash between the locals and Delhi Police was also witnessed while the protestors were being removed from the site. Police had to resort to mild lathi-charge and detain ten people including six women. Later, an FIR under Sections 186/353/341/188/269/34 of the IPC and Section 3 of Epidemic Act 1897 was registered. The protestors were arrested for attacking cops.