Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest cleared, amid coronavirus lockdown

With Delhi tightening curbs on assembly and movement of people in the wake of coronavirus, the police cleared the Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest on Tuesday morning. The unique sit-in protest against the citizenship law, conducted mostly by women, had been on for more than 100 days.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) R P Meena said people at the protest venue in Shaheen Bagh were requested to vacate the site as lockdown has been imposed due to coronavirus outbreak.

Section 144 is in place in Delhi after the Arvind Kejriwal-led government announced a lockdown as a precautionary measure against coronavirus. Before this, a protest outside Jamia had been called off last week.

Discussions have been on at Shaheen Bagh over calling off the sit-in because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Delhi Police had held a meeting with a few Shaheen Bagh protesters and Resident Welfare Association (RWA) members of Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave in a bid to convince the group to end the protests.

Earlier last week, Shaheen Bagh volunteers said it was decided that the protesters will comply with the CM's order of limiting the gathering at 50. However, by the evening, there were hundreds of protesters at the site, and a volunteer said the changes will be implemented by evening. They had also said that grandmothers and children would no longer be allowed at the site and each protester would sit at least one metre away from the other protesters. Face masks and sanitisers were also made available.

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