March 23, 2020 3:14:32 am
Hours into Sunday’s ‘Janata Curfew’, petrol bombs were hurled by unidentified persons at the Shaheen Bagh protest site, where women continue to hold a sit-in protest against the CAA. Police said no protester was injured as the inflammable substance was thrown near the police barricades. Around the same time, an unidentified man allegedly fired a bullet and hurled petrol bombs at the vacant protest ground outside Jamia Millia Islamia.
While protesters at Shaheen Bagh blamed ‘outsiders’ for the incident, police sources said they are probing the possibility of an internal feud between protesters over calling off the protest that eventually escalated.
Discussions have been on at Shaheen Bagh over calling off the sit-in because of the coronavirus outbreak. The protest outside Jamia had been called off earlier this week.
On the Shaheen Bagh incident, DCP (Southeast) R P Meena said, “We got a call around 9.15 am and the SHO of Shaheen Bagh police station visited the spot. We found a banner, blanket and bamboo stick, all of which were burnt. A few broken bottles were lying around. The FSL team has inspected the spot.”
Protesters said only five women were under the canopy when the incident took place.
A senior police probing the incident said: “An unidentified accused hurled the petrol bombs and escaped through the lanes nearby.”
Shagufta (45), one of the protesters, said, “I was sitting on the bed when I heard an explosion and informed police. A fire broke out near the barricades, which police came and doused. We are following the PM’s orders and only five women now sit under the canopy. Why are people still attacking us?”
On claims that an internal feud may be behind the incident, she said, “It was a planned move to remove us. Last night, people tried to create a scene. They called police to remove us.”
Protesters claimed three men came on bikes had hurled petrol bombs, though police said they are verifying this claim.
On the Jamia incident, DCP Meena said, “Around 9.15 am, a man fired outside the gate. Nobody was hurt since the protest site was vacant. A broken bottle, a lighter and an empty cartridge were found near the divider outside the campus gate.”
The Jamia Coordination Committee, comprising students and alumni, said they already suspended their protests due to the coronavirus outbreak.
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