Published: 23rd December 2019
How 'preventive' policing ended CAA protests in Delhi before they even started
The protest, called by the North East Students' Forum and the JNUSU, was supposed to start from 2 pm. Except, the police kept arresting everyone in sight and so the protest never really got going
The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University had planned a protest at the Assam Bhavan in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri to demand the release of activist Akhil Gogoi and protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) and the imminent application of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). But the Delhi Police, allegedly, cracked down on the protestors and detained them in batches.
The protest, called by the North East Students' Forum of JNU and the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) was supposed to start from 2 pm but before the students could reach the designated spot some protestors were detained by the police, alleged the students. Others were picked up as soon as the march began, "We had hardly started the march and gone 100 metres when they (Delhi Police) brutally kicked and dragged us to some buses near Assam Bhavan. Many of us have been beaten up badly. The detained students have been taken to Mandir Marg Police Station," said Madurima, a member of students' organisation AISA.
Asif Mohammed Khan of the students' organisation BASO, said that the police and CRPF had flooded the area and the students could not even assemble properly in order to start the protest. "They were arresting anyone who got off the bus. Some of us escaped from there but they were not letting anyone stand there for too long," he said. "The protests ended before it could even start. The UP Bhavan nearby also had a heavy deployment of security forces and had water cannons in place," he added.
Before she was hauled into a bus, Maitryi, a student of History at JNU, said, “Section 144 has been made applicable everywhere. Detention is an easy tool now. We are not suffering like UP. This is the least we can do.” The students were reportedly let go after a few hours.
In an earlier protest at the UP Bhawan next door, AISA's National President N Sai Balaji and Delhi President Kawalpreet Kaur complained of being assaulted and detained by the Delhi Police. They did not even reach the site of the protest when they were detained and put into buses.