Updated: February 4, 2021 12:59:51 am
At 12 pm on Wednesday, around 150 protesters gathered at Mandi House hoping to march towards Jantar Mantar, but were denied permission by Delhi Police, which cited CrPC Section 144. While the crowd, which had gathered to show solidarity with the farmers’ protest, did not move forward, they continued the protest at Mandi House.
Kawalpreet Kaur, national vice-president of All India Students’ Association (AISA), said, “The march was to show our solidarity with the farmers’ protest, especially since anti-farmer protesters have been reaching the borders claiming to be.”
She said they were also protesting the arrest of independent journalists.
Rahul Negi (25) from the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan said they reached around 11 but did not move further on seeing police barricading.
Protesters spent the next two hours singing songs, writing slogans with coloured chalk on the road, and performing street theatre. The numbers dwindled by 2 pm.
Jantar Mantar meanwhile remained barricaded. Parth Nandan (20), a JNU student who had gone there, was asked to leave by police. “I thought the march would have begun already so I came straight from college to Jantar Mantar,” he said.
DCP (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said, “A call was made by some student organisations including AISA, SFI, etc, to carry out a citizen’s march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar on February 3 in support of agitating farmers and for release of persons arrested in connection with their agitation. Some trade unions and Congress Mahila Morcha also claimed to join them. Their request for permission was rejected because of it being a non-designated place as per Supreme Court directions and CrPC section 144 was already in place. The organisers were duly conveyed. Around 150 persons assembled there and indulged in sloganeering, singing and delivering speeches. After prolonged persuasion and being told that assembling here is against law, they dispersed on their own and went back. No force was used and no one was detained.”
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