The sit-ins by women protesters at Lucknow’s Ghanta Ghar and in Prayagraj against the new citizenship law (CAA) and proposed NRC was “halted” on Monday in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown of 17 UP districts.
The women protesters at Ghanta Ghar, who have been sitting in protest since January 17, in a letter to Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujeet Pandey informed their decision to pause their protest. “This is to inform you that the protest going on against CAA, NRC and NPR has been halted due to the sudden epidemic of coronavirus.When the government order related to coronavirus is over, we will come back and sit where we were sitting,” read the letter.
Thakurganj police station SHO Pramod Kumar Mishra said, “They (protesters) have left the spot and the place is empty now.”
Sumaiyya Rana, one of the organisers of the protest, told The Indian Express, “We have been assured by senior police officers that we can come back and sit once the orders related to the epidemic are no longer in place.” The sit-in at Ghanta Ghar had been ongoing since January 17.
In Lucknow’s Ujariyaon under the Gomti Nagar police station, a sit-in against CAA-NRC was also halted by the protesters.
ACP (Gomti Nagar) Santosh Singh confirmed that the protest has been halted for the time being. “We received a memorandum from the women that they are halting the protest owing to the spread of the virus. They have said that once the coronavirus situation is brought under control, they will restart the sit-in,” said Singh.
In Prayagraj, SSP Satyarth Aniruddha Pankaj said that people had halted the protest owing to the coronavirus pandemic. A protest against CAA-NRC was ongoing since January 12 at the Mansoor Ali Park under the Khuldabad police station.
“On Monday evening, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the administration saying that they will end their protest,” said Pankaj on Monday evening.
Sarah Ahmed, an organiser of the protest, said, “We have only halted the protest till the coronavirus issue is resolved. We will continue the protest once the lockdown is over. The coronavirus fear is the bigger issue at the moment and hence, we are temporarily halting the sit in. Our fight against CAA-NRC and NPR will continue.”
FIR against protesters in Moradabad
Moradabad police have lodged a case under the Epidemic Act and other sections of the IPC Monday over the protest being held under the Gul Shaheed police station at Eidgah mosque. “We have lodged a case against 12 named and 150 unidentified people after the protesters gave a call for more people to attend the sit-in after we asked them to halt it due to coronavirus pandemic. We had given them notices that owing to the spread of the virus and the Janata Curfew on Sunday, they should stop the gathering at Eidgah. But, more people joined in on Sunday and we lodged a case over the gathering owing to the fear of spread of the virus,” said Amit Kumar Anand, Additional SP (City).
The case, lodged on Sunday, under IPC sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
In Aligarh, the sit-in being held at Shah Jamal Eidgah under the Delhi Gate police station is still ongoing with number of protesters being around 25, said police.
SHO Dheerendra Mohan Sharma said that while no new case has been lodged, police were constantly speaking to the people to halt the protest keeping in mind the threat of the virus.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines