Published: 19th December 2019
Modi government is working day and night for students' better future: HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal
In the area around the Red Fort, scores of protestors were dragged into buses by police in a bid to clear the area where Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed which restricts gathering of more than four
While scores of protestors across the country are conducting demonstrations against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA), HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the "Students are our priority and Modi government is working day and night for their better future."
He added, "With folded hands I appeal to political parties to keep academic institutions away from their politics."
Numerous protestors were detained by the Delhi Police near Red Fort when they tried to take out a march to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed there.
Swarajya Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav, former JNU student Umar Khalid and ex-JNUSU president N Sai Balaji were among those who were detained, officials said.
"I have just been detained from Lal Qila. About a thousand protesters already detained. Thousands on the way. Am told we are being taken to Bawana," Yadav tweeted. "I know many of our mates are being detained, despite that many have gathered here. The citizenship of this country cannot be divided and this is our protest call today," Yadav said.
Protestors, which included activists and students, were dragged into buses in a bid to clear the area. Holding placards and shouting slogans, the protesters allowed themselves to be escorted to the buses.
"Picked up by Delhi Police from Red Fort. We had gathered to protest against the divisive CAB-NRC on Ashfaq & Bismil's martyrdom day. I appeal to all peacefully keep protesting till unconstitutional CAB-NRC is rolled back. This is something we owe to Ashfaq & Bismil's sacrifice," Khalid tweeted.
The Delhi Police has urged protestors to go to the designated place for their protest. "We are requesting the protestors to please apply for the designated place for the protest. In the non-designated places, public face problems and many emergency services get affected.
"We urge people not to listen to any rumours. Section 144 has already been imposed in the area. Please cooperate with the Delhi Police," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said.
Several Jamia students and activists were also siting inside the Jamia Masjid complex to protest against the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC). "If you have a memo of demands, give it to me. We have implemented Sec 144. If anti-social elements try to breach peace, you people won't be able to control it," Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ajit K Singla told a group of protesters at Red Fort here.
What is the harm in protesting peacefully, a protestor asked. "Everytime we gather to protest against CAB and NRC, police detain some of the protesters so that we start focusing on getting them released," said Shakib (29).
Several people have been stopped at Turkman Gate as well, protestors claimed.
"Police have divided the protesters. Thousands of people started moving towards Red Fort from different directions, including Daryaganj, Turkman gate and Jama Masjid, at 10 am. Some protesters, who could reach Chandni Chowk, were baton-charged, forced into buses and taken to Bawana. We were stopped in between, were not allowed to move forward," Amjad, one of the protestors, said.
Two protests are scheduled in the national capital, one by students and activists and the other by left parties. The two marches are to meet at Shaheed Park near ITO.
A large number of protestors gathered at the Jantar Mantar here on Thursday to protest the amended citizenship law after they were not allowed to demonstrate near the Red Fort and Mandi House where prohibitory orders have been imposed.
Left leaders including D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat, Congress' Ajay Maken and Sandeep Dikshit, and activists Yogendra Yadav and Umar Khalid were among those detained near the Red Fort and Mandi House where the two demonstrations were planned to be held.
As protestors started converging at the Jantar Mantar amid heavy deployment of security personnel, barricades were erected at the protest site to prevent them from moving further. Senior police officials have appealed to students and activists to maintain peace. Police have also stationed water canons at the Jantar Mantar to deal with any situation.
Entry and exit gates of at least 18 Delhi Metro stations were shut while barricades were erected in large parts of south, east and north Delhi to check movement of protesters, triggering massive traffic snarls in large parts of the city.