Nizamuddin protest: Delhi Police sends notices to women in an attempt to unnerve protestors

Some of the participants NH spoke to denied they caused any sort of nuisance as alleged by the police and said they were merely staging a peaceful protest against CAA, NRC

Women protesting at Nizamuddin
Women protesting at Nizamuddin

Ashlin Mathew

In an attempt to intimidate and harass the women who are sitting at the Nizamuddin protest site, the Delhi Police has sent notices to at least 10 persons in the area, of which at least three are women. They were sent the notice on February 2 and were asked to present themselves on February 3 at the Amar Colony police station near Nizamuddin in the Capital.

The notices were sent to the women under Sections 107, 111 and 113 of the CrPC. Section 107 states that a District Magistrate is empowered to act if he feels any person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquility or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquility. Section 111 notes that when a Magistrate is acting under section 107, section 108, section 109 or section 110, the DM shall make an order in writing, setting forth the substance of the information received, the amount of the bond to be executed, the term for which it is to be in force.

The notice, which addresses most women respondent as ‘he’ instead of ‘she’, states that the person created nuisance by shouting loudly and quarrelled with the public on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act. The notice mentions that the women used filthy language and threatened the public with dire consequences. The letter claims that there was serious tension between the respondents and the public and that there would be a disturbance of peace and public tranquillity.

However, counter to these allegations by the Delhi Police, the sit-in has been organised on a vacant footpath near Nizamuddin and vehicular traffic has not been disrupted or blocked by the protestors.

Nizamuddin protest: Delhi Police sends notices to women in an attempt to unnerve protestors

“The police have lied in the notices that were sent to us. There was never an altercation either with the public or between ourselves. The police themselves were disrupting us when we began to sit here. They pushed us around and told us that we were instigating people to violence. Nothing of that sort has happened here. They accused me of using filthy language while speaking to the protestors and when speaking on the dais. Neither have I given a speech here, nor have I ever used foul language. I have only recited poems. There is nothing wrong in reciting poems,” said 26-year-old Nida Rabbani, who was served a notice. She is pursuing her B.Ed. currently.

“We don’t speak foul language at home, how will we speak that in public? All that I have ever said at the protests were about Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens. And these were all informative sessions and never a speech. The police are lying. Another police officer warned that this was only the beginning and they would slap criminal cases on us,” said another woman, who had also got the notice, but did not want to be named.

The protests at Nizamuddin locality have been going on since January 15, but it was on January 26 that the residents of the area decided to begin the sit-in protest. But it being at the corner of Lodhi Road and Jungpura, the police were not willing to let the protestors sit. “They didn’t want us to put up an awning or sit on the corner of the road. The police began fighting with the women to deny permission, but the men put up the tarpaulin. To halt us, the police switched off the electricity in the area, but across the road and less than 500 meters from here, electricity was not shut off. Three buses full of policemen in riot gear arrived. But we stood our ground and eventually the police backed off,” said Najma, another protestor.

Several of the women who were served notices went to the police station on February 3 and informed the SHO that that they would appear on February 10 as they needed time to respond to the allegations.

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Published: 06 Feb 2020, 6:00 PM