Kawalpreet Kaur, student activist and All India Student Association chief, was allegedly manhandled by the Delhi Police today around 1 pm as she was stepping out of her auto to go to an anti-citizenship amendment act protest called by students. She took to Facebook immediately to talk about the detention and wrote, “They dragged me from auto, assaulted me and then dropped me in the bus alone. Later four other women protestors were also put in bus.”
Kawalpreet had called a protest and was going to demonstrate a peaceful protest at UP Bhawan against the detention and misuse of power by Police in Assam and Uttar Pradesh in order to curtail the protests recently and also to oppose CAA, she told SheThePeople.TV. While Kawalpreet was one of the first persons to get detained today in the city, she says that by the end of the day there were over 100 detainees. She was released at around 5.30 pm.
Talking about the arrest, she says, “Police was picking people up randomly from outside UP Bhawan, Assam Bhawan, outside the Race Course metro station and so many other places. This happened despite the fact that the curfew or Section 144 wasn’t even imposed anywhere and if it was imposed then also it is not legal for the police to pick any stranger standing alone anywhere or in a pair.”
On how she was picked up, she recalls, “I hadn’t even disembarked from the auto as I was paying the auto-driver outside the UP Bhawan. Suddenly, I saw two women constables running towards me. I felt so weird about it because this is not how protests or detention happen so I got back inside the auto and told him to move but they pulled me out of it.” This is not the first time Kawalpreet was organising a protest. She has been incessantly organising or participating in protests for half-decade now over various Delhi University and politics related issues.
“I have been detained many times before so we know that the police knows us. But firstly, they hadn’t imposed Section 144 so we could legally protest. Secondly, as soon as the protest begins within a maximum of 10 minutes, they start to detain people saying it is getting violent but this time there was nothing that happened. I was merely stepping outside my auto and they picked me up. They tried to undo my clothes while manhandling, pulling up my shirt. There were many hands on my body, how could they do this?” says Kawalpreet. “Perhaps they have an order not to let any protests even start in the city so the activists they know, they are just detaining them after that whoever student they saw around UP Bhawan, they started to detain them too,” she adds.
“I hadn’t even disembarked from the auto as I was paying the auto-driver outside the UP Bhawan. Suddenly, I saw two women constables running towards me. I felt so weird about it because this is not how protests or detention happen so I got back inside the auto and told him to move but they pulled me out of it.”
Kawalpreet opines that it will get very difficult to protest in Delhi now as the cops don’t want people to talk about their brutality which they allegedly unleashed on protestors in Uttar Pradesh and Assam. However, detention does not instil fear in her against protesting as she says, “There is nothing to be afraid of. The way they acted today, they just wanted to make a spectacle so people get scared. They want to create a sense of panic among people to quell protests completely. We are not doing anything wrong by showing our dissent but Delhi Police did today was illegal.”
While the capital is split into supporters and protestors of CAA, the entire country is engulfed in protests opposing the act. Protests are turning extremely violent in many cities of Uttar Pradesh where at least 15 people have died in the frenzy created.