Delhi Police detain more than 300 anti-CAA protestors outside UP Bhawan
The Jamia Coordination Committee releases a press statement condemning police action
The Delhi police detained about 350 protestors, including women who were set to stage a demonstration outside the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Bhawan in the capital on Friday against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the police brutalities on students. They have since been released.
The gherao of the UP Bhawan had been called by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) which comprises of various political groups active on the campus, but according to reports the police had denied permissions for protests at the site. They had also prepared a memorandum to be submitted to officials at the site, but that too didn’t happen because the protest wasn’t allowed to take place.
A senior police official told reporters that Badre Alam, the leader of the protests and a student of Jamia, was told to take requisite permissions to hold the protests at a designated place like the Jantar Mantar, but he did not pay any heed to the advice of the police.
The JCC released a press statement on Friday evening stating that it had called for a peaceful gherao of the UP Bhawan starting at 3 PM which was met with the ‘now-normal repression tactics by the Delhi Police’.
The statement read that entire buses of protestors headed to the site were detained by the police and taken to different locations, including the Mandir Marg police station and Connaught Place police station. More than 300 students from Jamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University (DU) had been detained and multiple students were manhandled.
People have been detained in groups outside UP Bhawan where they went to protest. Entire Bus coming from Jamia is being detained as some of the students from Jamia are reporting. The capital is literally turned into a battalion. And all this is so scary. :/
The press statement referred to the detention as unlawful stating that the police could not show any papers to show that Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in the area when they were questioned by detained students.
“The students continued their protest outside the station. The police have verbally assured that all detainees will be released by 6:30 pm. Protestors are gathering outside Connaught Place police station demanding the release of detained students. Lawyers have reached different police stations and have offered legal help,” the JCC said in the statement.
The JCC condemned the “ridiculous” actions of the Delhi Police and the State’s fear towards dissent. “It is clear that the current government is only holding itself back from unleashing its rage on the protestors in Delhi because of the international visibility that Delhi has. We ask progressive forces to exert more pressure on the Union and Uttar Pradesh governments to make them stop the atrocities that are being carried out in areas which are less visible to international media,” the JCC statement said.
The JCC also demanded an end to violence against anti-CAA protestors and Muslims in various states. It said, “We reiterate our demand that the violence being carried out against Muslims and anti-CAA protestors in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Bihar and Delhi be ended immediately. We strongly condemn the ongoing communal violence against Muslims, which has accelerated in recent days.”
The police on Thursday too had detained about a 100 people from various groups and political parties who had arrived at the UP Bhawan to stage a protest against the CAA citing that Section 144 was imposed there.
On Monday, 46 students, including 27 women were detained outside the same venue when they were about to begin demonstrations against the CAA.