Mumbai police on Monday at 10 am detained 10 anti-CAA protesters from Ambedkar Park in Mumbai’s Deonar. Among the detainees, six are local residents and others are university students. They were released later in the afternoon.
The protesters were prevented by the police from staging a sit-in protest, along the lines of New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, in Deonar’s public park. This is the fourth incident in two weeks when the protesters were detained for raising their voices against the controversial act and the imminent exercises, one of the protesters told NewsClick.
“As many as 20, including a minor, were detained on the Sunday night for staging a protest outside the Shahuji garden,” said Avinash, another protester, while speaking to NewsClick. They were baton-charged and some of the women were manhandled, he alleged. On the other hand, Deonar police have pegged the number of detainees at five, reported PTI, adding that the women sat outside the garden without intimation
Appeal to Mumbaikars:
Please rush to Govandi where the police is forcing women to move and prevent them from protesting against CAA-NRC-NPR. The woman started an indefinite sit in today. #ShaheenBagh #MumbaiPolice #Mumbai pic.twitter.com/DJdDzyxTyE
— Varsha (@varshapoddar94) February 2, 2020
The detainees, released in the late hours of Sunday night, were again taken into custody by the police the next morning while making another attempt to “occupy” the public space.
“Women were released only after a crowd assembled outside the police station and created pressure on the cops,” Avinash told NewsClick, at a time when he was sending SOS appeals to students to assemble in large outside the police station. “Though detained again, this does not deter us from staging peaceful protests against the Modi government, with our demands to revoke the act.”
Earlier last month, four including Avinash himself, were detained by Deonar police after they visited the police station to seek permission for holding an indefinite sit-in dharna. “The detention gives a wrong signal as the protesters had followed due course of the law by seeking prior permission for their agitation,” Mumbai Mirror reported Shubham Koyhari from Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice as saying.
JAC for Social Justice, a united front of students, workers and intellectuals, in a statement termed the detentions for seeking police’s nod to anti-CAA protests as “high-handedness” and “undemocratic behaviour” of the police against the law-abiding protesters.
“The local residents and students are determined to continue with their attempts to stage a sit-in protest in Deonar,” said Avinash.