The Delhi Police cleared the Shaheen Bagh protest site on Tuesday morning amid the coronavirus outbreak, bringing to an end the three-month-old agitation led by women against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The agitators have been on dharna at the site since December 15 and refused to budge even when authorities warned them about the risks involved in carrying out their agitation in the midst of the pandemic. Police said yesterday also people at the protest venue were requested to vacate the site as lockdown has been imposed due to outbreak. However, when they refused action was taken and they were vacated, the official said.
The police removed materials put up by the protesters over the last 101 days – including artistic banners, a large standing map of India and a model India Gate.
Last week, Shaheen Bagh protesters had said they would limit the size of their protest to 50 to comply with the Delhi government’s orders. On Sunday, during the ‘janta curfew’ called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, only five women remained at the protest site, symbolically, sitting at a distance from each other. The Wire quoted protest leaders saying while they understood the dangers of coronavirus and were taking adequate precautions including sanitising regularly, they felt the threat of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was much larger than the dangers of COVID-19. “We understand that coronavirus outbreak is deadly, but for us, CAA, NPR and NRC are equally deadly,” one woman had said.