Updated: March 17, 2020 5:19:34 pm
The Delhi Police held a meeting with a few Shaheen Bagh protesters and Resident Welfare Association (RWA) members of Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave Tuesday afternoon in a bid to convince the group to end the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in the wake of coronavirus.
A senior police officer, who was a part of the team that met the protesters, told The Indian Express: “We have requested them to call it off, we have spoken to the RWAs and some volunteers at the protest too. The meeting was held at the barricades. They said they will convey the message to the protesters.”
On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had ordered that “a gathering of more than 50 people will not be allowed” and said that it is applicable for protests too. On Monday night, Shaheen Bagh protesters said they will continue the protest and that there are medical and legal experts they are in touch with.
On Tuesday morning, however, Shaheen Bagh volunteers said that it was decided that the protesters will comply with the CM’s order and will limit the number of people at the sit-in to less than 50. By 4 pm Tuesday, however, hundreds remained at the protest site, and a volunteer said that “changes will be implemented by evening.”
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About the meeting with police personnel, including SHO of Shaheen Bagh, a volunteer said, “We are in discussions with all stakeholders, all women, and will take a call.”
Talking about the measures that will be taken, a volunteer at the protest sit-in told The Indian Express, “Around 40-44 women will now protest at the site and that too in shifts. Arrangements are being made to ensure that each protester sits at least one metre away from the other protester. The grandmothers will no longer be at the site as their age group falls in the vulnerable category. Children too will not be at the site anymore.”
The anti-CAA protest at Southeast Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh has been on since December 15, with at least 300 women at the forefront of it. On Monday night, the volunteers released a statement in which they said that the protest will continue, and that medical and legal experts are in dialogue with them.
By Tuesday morning, changes had been discussed with the group. A volunteer said, “At least four people will guard the protest site and each person who visits or wants to participate in the sit-in will have to undergo the thermal scanner. We are yet to procure the thermal scanners. If even slight fever is detected, they will be sent back. We are taking all necessary precautions. Protesters have been told to wear a mask and sanitisers too have been made available.”
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