Anti-CAA protest: Protesters gather for demonstration outside Delhi’s Jama Masid
New Delhi, December 27
Protesters gathered at Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar and outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan as protests against the contentious citizenship law gathered momentum on Friday.
Delhi Police on Friday detained a group of protesters who tried to stage a demonstration outside the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan against alleged police atrocities in the state. The Jamia Coordination Committee, which comprises students from various political groups active on the campus, had called for a “gherao” of the UP Bhawan.
There was heavy security deployment outside the venue. As soon as some protesters arrived, they were detained and taken to the Mandir Marg police station.
Personnel from adjoining police districts were also deployed to ensure that no untoward incident occurs.
A man, who had come for the protest, sat on the road when police tried to detain him and questioned the action. He was detained and taken in a police van. Women protestors were detained by women police personnel.
Senior police officers, including Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Anand Mohan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya, were also present at the spot.
Police said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, banning assembly of four or more people, have been in place. Barricades have also been put up, they said.
The Delhi Police had also put up a banner asking people to refrain from staging demonstrations outside the Uttar Pardesh Bhawan as prohibitory orders are in place.
On Thursday, as many as 213 people were detained from outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan for protesting against the alleged police atrocities in the state during protests against the amended Act.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered outside the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi on Friday to protest despite the biting cold.
Congress leader Alka Lamba and former Delhi MLA Shoaib Iqbal were among those who joined the demonstrations.
Lamba hit out at the central government, saying “unemployment is the real issue in the country, but you (PM) are trying to put people in a queue for NRC, as it was done during demonetisation”.
“It is very essential to raise the voice of democracy for the country and for the Constitution. A central government cannot become dictatorial and impose its agenda on people,” she said.
The protesters, many of whom gathered after offering Friday prayers at the mosque, raised slogans against the new legislation and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC)
“Is desh ko NRC, NPR nahi chahiye. Is desh ko rozgaar chahiye. Is desh ko aman aur shanti chahiye (This country does not need NRC, NPR, it needs jobs. The country needs peace and amity),” a protester said.
The protesters who were carrying placards that read ‘Save the Constitution, don’t divide India’ appealed to the people to remain non-violent.
“Those who create violence do not belong to us. This is a movement and it will go on. If someone disturbs our peace, that person doesn’t belong to us, and that is to distract our movement. We will not tolerate any violence,” the former MLA said.
At Jantar Mantar, hundreds of activists on Friday held a demonstration here demanding the immediate release of Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad, who was arrested during the anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid last week.
The protest was organised by the Anjuman-e-Haideri and Bhim Army workers from Dargah Shah-e-mardan in south Delhi’s upscale Jor Bagh area.
The protesters started their march from the Dargah towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.
However, they were stopped before the Jor Bagh metro station by the Delhi Police.
The protesters holding the national flag, photographs of BR Ambedkar and Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad raised slogans against the Modi government and demanded Azad’s release. They also tied a black ribbon on their wrists as a mark of protest.
Azad was arrested in connection with the violence in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj on December 21, a day after his outfit had organised a march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar.
The protest on Friday was also attended by former Minority Commission chairperson Wajahat Habibullah.
Habibullah said, “The government is saying that the NRC and the CAA are different from each other. But the way rules have been framed it is clear that both are the same.” “And it is trying to divide the people of the country on religious lines,” the former Chairman said.
He said this is also against the Constitution of the country. “As a citizen of the country, it is our duty to save the Constitution,” he said.
Syed Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, General Secretary of the Anjuman-e-Haideri said: “The SC/ST leader Azad was arrested from Jama Masjid area. We are demanding his immediate release”. Naqvi alleged that RSS volunteers were allowed to intrude into the protests in Uttar Pradesh to cause large scale damage to public property. He said: “We have seen how the people of the RSS were allowed to intrude among the protesters so that they can indulge in arson and we the peaceful protesters are given a bad name.” “That is the reason why we are protesting by tying our hands,” he added.
Delhi Police Joint Commissioner (Southern Range) DC Srivastava said that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure that law and order is maintained.
“We had earlier held talks with the Aman committees of all the areas and we also appealed to the people to maintain peace,” Srivastava said.
“We halted the protesters before the Jor Bagh metro station and they are now giving their speeches here and after some time they will leave. We even ensured that the traffic remains normal in the area,” he added.