The protest site at Shaheen Bagh witnessed commotion Tuesday, when a group of men attempted to enter and remove barricades. They were chased out by protesters after one of the men allegedly whipped out a pistol, police said.
The incident took place around 2.50 pm, when 60-70 men tried to open the barricades, police said. “The men were from the locality. They were aggrieved by the lockdown at Shaheen Bagh and got into an argument with protesters,” police said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Chinmoy Biswal told The Indian Express, “A group of 60-70 men were at the site. They were residents of the area and have no political links as alleged by the protesters. Some men from the group tried entering the stage and an argument ensued. No complaint has been filed.”
A senior police officer said that the licenced pistol “belongs to one Mohd Luqman, but was brandished by someone else”. Biswal said that while police have not received a complaint, they are probing the matter based on a video.
While police claimed the protesters did not wish to speak to the men, who demanded the opening of the carriageway, protesters claimed they invited the men for a dialogue, but they refused and demanded an immediate stop to the protests.
Eyewitnesses claimed that around 2.50 pm, they heard the group arguing with protesters. “Two men came up to the stage and started arguing with us. They said we are causing them huge inconvenience. I asked them to sit with us and talk. Instead, they hurled abuses at us and one man whipped out a pistol. The women chased them out,” said Sakina, an eyewitness.
As the men were chased out, the male protesters formed a human chain, while the women stayed inside the makeshift tent. Police said they are not planning on bolstering security in the area as there was no “perceivable threat to the protest site as outsiders barely ventured into the area”.
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