NEW DELHI: Protesters and Bhim Army members marching towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence to demand the release of Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and to oppose the amended citizenship act were stopped in the way by police on Friday.
Amid heavy security arrangement and drone surveillance, the protesters, including Bhim Army members, started their march from Dargah Shah-e-Mardan in Jor Bagh in the national capital and were stopped by police at a barricade en route the PM’s residence at Lok Kalyan Marg.
After offering Friday prayers at the mosque, some of the protesters participated in the march with their hands tied, saying they did it so that they could not be blamed for violence and arson during the protest.
Meanwhile, 357 protesters, mostly JNU students, were detained and taken to Mandir Marg and Connaught Place police stations. While addressing the gathering near Jor Bagh Metro station, Ziyaussalam, a journalist, appealed to the nation for peaceful protests.
“This is the fight for the national flag. Those who didn’t respect Tiranga after independence hadn’t participated in the independence struggle. The idea was to send a message that we are all together. Shia, Sunni, and people from other communities. The government intends to divide us but we are united against it. The cry is for an Ambedkar rashtra against a Hindu rashtra. We will not submit any documents for NPR which is a gateway for NRC,” he told this newspaper.
Mohibullah, imam from a mosque in Parliament Street, said, “The country’s citizens are not being treated as citizens, what country are we turning into? They are misleading the majority to target the minority. We are fighting for the country. We drove the British away but their agents are still in India,” he said.
He further said that the idea of Hindu Rashtra that the government is endorsing now should have been an election agenda as now it is misguiding the masses.
The protest outside UP Bhawan was carried out in violation of Section 144 of the CrPC and the protesters didn’t have any permission, police said.
“They were asked not to carry out their protest. When the protesters didn’t follow the directions of police, they were detained,” said a police officer.
The Jamia Coordination Committee, comprising students from political groups on the campus, had called for a “gherao” of the UP Bhawan.
Protests in Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh
Friday passed off peacefully in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar and Shaheen Bagh areas, as no fresh incidents of violence took place.
While Jamia students offered prayers in the Jamia mosques, the protesters in Shaheen Bagh area chose to offer prayers at the site of the protests.
There was no police presence at the site and the protesters were manning the traffic and passersby at Jamia Millia Islamia