Ground Report: Delhi Police Clear Symbolic Shaheen Bagh Protest Site
The Delhi Police started carrying out this action at 4 a.m. on Tuesday and police officials from south-east Delhi, CRPF troops and MCD workers were present at the spot during this time. Objects at the protest site were loaded onto trucks with the help of a JCB machine and taken away. A bus stop at the Shaheen Bagh protest site had been converted into a public library and named the Savitribai Phule-Fatima Sheikh Library. It has now been removed. Apart from this, a large map of India and a cut-out of the India Gate had also been erected here. All these were symbols of the anti-CAA agitation but everything has been cleared now. Some painters had also accompanied MCD employees, and they erased anti-CAA slogans on the bus stop, the footover bridge and walls. Earlier, the Delhi Police had tried to end the protest several times but it had to face severe opposition. On Monday, the Delhi Police held a meeting with protesters and neighbouring residents’ welfare associations, which remained inconclusive. However, there was no opposition when the work of clearing the protest site began on Tuesday morning. Protesters at the site and nearby areas were also not seen on Tuesday morning. The Delhi government and Delhi Police have imposed several restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus, due to which all shops at the Shaheen Bagh protest site are still closed. When the Delhi Police was clearing out the protest site, police and paramilitary soldiers were deployed in residential areas as well. Soldiers posted at all bylanes and street corners did not allow anyone to step out of their homes till the removal action was complete. Usually, shops selling food items and essential commodities in residential areas of Shaheen Bagh used to remain open but on Tuesday, everything was found closed. A few grocery shops were definitely open but daily needs essentials like milk and bread had sold out. A sub-inspector of the Delhi Police said that they have been engaged in clearing out the protest site since morning and are eating food items bought from shops that are open. Amid this, it is natural for things to get over. Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel continue to be present at the spot in large numbers despite the removal action getting over. It is not yet clear when the number of police personnel will reduce here. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that no new coronavirus patient has been found in Delhi in the past 24 hours. Five people have been discharged from the hospital. For the moment, the biggest challenge is not to let the situation get out of control under any circumstances. Everyone’s help is needed to overcome this challenge.
Amid complete lockdown in the capital, #ShaheenBagh protest site and road blockades have been cleared out by the @DelhiPolice in a bid to stop the #coronavirus spread@ShahnawazMalik_ #COVIDー19 #coronaviruslockdown pic.twitter.com/YK21ertZ8O— GoNewsIndia (@GoNews_India) March 24, 2020