Petrol bombs hurled at Shaheen Bagh protest site, police suspect internal feud

Jignasa Sinha

Fire being doused at the Shaheen Bagh protest site. (Source: ANI)

As the country observed the 14-hour voluntary shutdown to contain coronavirus on Sunday, petrol bombs were hurled by unidentified men at the Shaheen Bagh protest site where hundreds of women continue to hold a sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

No protesters have been injured in the incident and the fire has been doused. The police suspect the motive behind the attack is an internal feud between the protesters over calling off the protest due to the coronavirus spread.

Kumar Gyanesh, Additional DCP (Southeast), " We doused the fire and found 5-6 petrol bombs lying near the barricades. The protesters weren’t hurt. Prima was one of the protesters who hurled the bombs. There have been clashes amongst the protesters regarding the protest since yesterday. Last night, we received a call about a fight there and had to intervene. Due to the coronavirus scare, few of the protesters want to call off the sit-in protest while others debated and they fought with each other."

Police also said that the accused men hurled the petrol bombs from the 40-feet-road, which is opposite to the protest ground.

“We suspect it was one of the protesters because others can’t enter that lane without passing barricades put up by the police. The accused men hurled the bombs and escaped through the lanes nearby. We are enquiring about the matter,” said the police.

A petrol bomb exploded near the barricades at the protest site. (Source: ANI)

Protesters at Shaheen Bagh said that there have been internal clashes due to coronavirus but the people are still protesting at the site.

One of the organisers said, “The protesters have been fighting with each other and debating whether to call off the protest or continue the sit-in. Last night, after a heated argument, a few protesters fought, police were called. Today, petrol bombs were hurled, we too suspect that it could be one of the protesters or locals living nearby.”

Earlier this week, the Delhi Police held a meeting with a few Shaheen Bagh protesters and RWA members of Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave in a bid to convince the group to end the protest in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The talks had failed as the protesters refused to budge. However, plans by the protesters to limit the numbers to below 50 in compliance with the Delhi government orders placing restrictions on public gatherings including protests has failed.