New Delhi: As many as 15 people have been arrested in connection with the violence in Daryaganj in Old Delhi during a protest against the new citizenship law, police said on Saturday.
Initially 10 people were held but five more were arrested later, they said.
Those arrested have been charged with rioting and using force to deter policemen from doing duty, police said.
According to police, the protesters had set ablaze a private car parked at Subhash Marg area on Friday evening. The fire was immediately doused.
Forty persons were detained in connection with the protest and subsequent violence. Out of them, eight minors were released early Saturday, police said, adding there was a likelihood of more arrests in the matter.
Court Directs Police to Allow Lawyers to Meet Detainees
Meanwhile, a Delhi court has come to the rescue of 40 people detained in connection with a day-long peaceful protest that turned violent at night in Daryaganj, by directing Delhi police to allow lawyers to meet the detainees and provide them legal remedies.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arul Verma issued the directions to the station house officer of the Daryaganj police station late Friday night when lawyers approached him at his residence, seeking permission to meet the detainees.
Advocates Kriti Awasthi and Aditya Pujari submitted before the chief metropolitan magistrate that some people, including minors, were detained at the police station and they could not meet the area metropolitan magistrate or the duty magistrate.
Verma further directed the SHO to provide necessary medical care to the detainees who were injured.
The judge also pulled up Delhi police for detaining minors, saying if there be any minor who is allegedly in conflict with the law, he or she ought not be detained in the first instance and they should be, if need arises, dealt with as per the provisions of the law.
"Detention of minor in a police station is a flagrant violation of law," the judge said.
Later, police said eight minors, detained on Friday, have been released.
Advocate Pujari said it should be made clear that lawyers did not go to Daryaganj in Old Delhi to protest against the new law.
"We were there just to provide legal remedies. The minors were released last night after verifying their documents," the lawyer told PTI.
He further said the lawyers were there till early in the morning and provided all possible legal aid to those detained.
Meanwhile, Several people gathered outside the Delhi Police headquarters late Friday night demanding the release of around 40 persons detained during a violent protest in Daryaganj.
Most of the protesters had come from the India Gate and were raising slogans against Delhi Police.
Bhim Army’s Azad Taken Into Custody
In the early hours on Saturday morning, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was taken into police custody from outside the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi.
He was inside the mosque in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
"We have to make sacrifice so that the legislation is taken back. We do not support violence. We were sitting inside the mosque since Friday morning and our people were not involved in violence," he said.
Azad had given the Delhi Police a slip to reach the Jama Masjid on Friday.
He told PTI that he sneaked into the Jama Masjid around 1:30 p.m, wearing a skull cap and wrapping himself in a long shawl to hide his identity.
Azad, whose name means free or independent, said his group was not involved in the violence near Delhi Gate on Friday.
"Policemen dressed as civilians are instigating violence in a bid to scuttle the protests," he alleged.
Asked how he breached the tight security ring outside the Jama Masjid on Friday afternoon, he said, "My name is Chandrashekhar Azad. Police cannot hold me captive. I wore a cap and a shawl and entered the masjid easily."
The Dalit leader said that 54% of Dalits are landless. "How can we furnish documents of 1955. The government will snatch our right to vote, our reservation, SC/ST Act..." he said.
The proposed National Register of Citizens is going to impact Muslims and Dalits the most, he said.
"They could not keep the Rafale files safe in lockers, how can they ask us to furnish documents? They cannot show their degrees to us. Why should we?" he said.
The protest will continue till Home Minister Amit Shah resigns, he said.