The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Wednesday sought a report from the district magistrate of South East Delhi about the ongoing protest at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality against the Citizenship Amendment Act amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.
The child rights body in a letter to the authorities said it had received a complaint about huge number of people being present at the protest site despite the repeated advisories against large gatherings. “You are kindly requested to take necessary action in view of advisory issued by the State Government and the Central Government regarding safety and prevention for COVID-19 and submit a report to the Commission within three days from the date of issue of this letter,” it said.
The Delhi government on Monday banned gatherings of more than 50 persons – including ongoing protests – till March 31 to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 infection. After initially defying the order, the protestors at Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday said they will limit the number of people at the sit-in to less than 50. The volunteers also said that necessary arrangements such as thermal scanners and masks for demonstrators are being made to avoid the spread of infection.
The Shaheen Bagh protest, which has been going on since December 15 and is led by women, has become the epicentre of protests against the amended citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens. The protest has been challenged in the Supreme Court by petitioners claiming that the demonstrators have blocked traffic.
The Delhi Police on Tuesday appealed to the protestors at Shaheen Bagh to end their demonstration. Police held a meeting with a group of protestors, along with members of the Resident Welfare Association of Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave, to persuade the demonstrators to call off their sit-in in light of the pandemic.
The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India was officially at 151 on Wednesday. Three people have died so far in the country. COVID-19 has infected more than 200,000 people and killed over 8,000, according to an estimate from John Hopkins University, which is live-tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources.