In order to quell protests against the new citizenship law in the capital, the Delhi Police Monday detained 139 people from outside the Uttar Pradesh and Assam Bhawans, including some who said they were not protesting.
Student groups had planned protests against alleged police atrocities in the two states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, where several people have died in violent clashes.
A woman from the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), who was stationed as a medical volunteer at the Assam Bhawan along with an ambulance, claimed she was manhandled by policewomen while she was being detained.
“We wanted to provide medical assistance to anyone who might get injured if there were any violence… We would have helped the police as well. We arrived early. I had gone to take a call when suddenly police surrounded us and dragged us to a bus. We were 50-70 metres away from the Bhawan. We told them we weren’t protesting, but they didn’t listen,” alleged Anusha Paul, DYFI’s State Committee Member.
Pallavi Rebbapragada (32), a policy fellow at the Delhi Vidhan Sabha, who claimed she was supposed to attend a meeting at UP Bhawan and was not part of the protest, was also detained.
“I was there with a camera for a meeting. I was not carrying a banner or anything and still they detained me,” she claimed.
Protesters included students from JNU, DU, Ashoka University, lawyers, and some young working professionals.
Many were picked up as soon as they reached. Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi president of the All India Student’s Association, claimed: “I had just gotten out of the autorickshaw and had not even paid the driver when they came and shoved me into the bus.”
The protesters were taken to Mandir Marg police station, where they continued singing and sloganeering.
DCP (New Delhi) Dr Eish Singhal said, “There was no permission to protest outside the two Bhawans. In New Delhi district, one can only protest at Jantar Mantar. All those detained were later released.”
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