7 anti-CAA demonstrators detained at Turkman Gate released, protest continues

New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) Seven people were detained while protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens in central Delhi's Turkman Gate on Thursday, police said.

They were released in the evening.

Police said that the protesters were detained for blocking a road in the area and were taken to Rajinder Nagar Police Station.

Some of the demonstrators alleged that the police personnel manhandled them and snatched away their mobile phones.

According to the demonstrators, the protest had begun on Wednesday afternoon when some students of Jamia Millia Islamia and the locals gathered at Turkman Gate at around 3 pm.

In the evening, scores of people gathered at the protest site. However, on Thursday morning, the police arrived and dispersed the crowd while detaining the seven protesters.

'I was in Khureji last (Wednesday) night when I got to know about the protest at Turkman Gate. Several women were protesting here and I rushed to join them,' Sara Javed Chawla, one of the protesters said.

Chawla claimed that shopkeepers in the area closed their establishments and formed a human chain to support the protesters.

'We were about to leave from the protest site when the police crackdown happened in the morning,' one of the protesters said.

However, after the police left, the protesters regrouped and returned to the site carrying placards with messages like 'no CAA, no NRC', 'say no to CAA' and 'pyaar banto, desh nahi'. Mohammad Naeem, a resident of Jama Masjid, said that the protest which began on Wednesday will go on till the time the CAA and NRC are not revoked.

'People, especially students and women, are holding a protest at Turkman Gate since Wednesday. We want the government to revoke the CAA and drop the idea of a possible pan-India NRC.

'Yesterday, the students marched from Lal Kuan till Turkman Gate,' Naeem said.

He claimed that a similar protest was ongoing at the historic Jama Masjid.

'Women gather inside the mosque daily from 8 pm to 9 pm after finishing their work. It is a silent protest and nobody raises slogans against anyone. The protesters sing national anthem at the end of the protest,' he said.

Meanwhile, several demonstrators protesting in east Delhi's Khureji area since Wednesday claimed that the police tried to forcefully disperse them by cutting the power connection and knocking down the tents at their protest site.

The Delhi Police, however, refuted the claims saying no 'coercive action' was taken.

An indefinite protest at Shaheen Bagh had started on December 15 against the CAA and the NRC. PTI NIT RHL