New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Hours after a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act on Friday turned violent with pelting of stones at police and torching of a car in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central, near the Delhi Gate, protesters gathered at the Delhi Police HQ at ITO and shouted slogans.
According to Delhi Police, around 300 protesters gathered outside the police headquarters located at Income Tax Office (ITO) area and raised slogans against the BJP-led Central government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Registrar of Citizens.
Following the surprise protest held at night outside the police headquarters, Delhi Police rushed extra force to control the situation there.
The police also diverted traffic going towards Laxmi Nagar from ITO as a precautionary measure.
Police, meanwhile, said they had detained 40 persons earlier in the day over the violence at Delhi Gate in which 12 policemen received injuries.
The stone-pelting in the evening began after the protesters, who intended to march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar, were stopped by the barricades set up by the police some distance from Delhi Gate.
The crowd raised slogans against the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and began pulling away the barricades in an attempt to move ahead.
The police then used water cannons on the crowd, and also used a water jet in a bid to douse the car set on fire.
According to Delhi Police sources, protesters from Seelampur and Jafrabad area in east Delhi – where violence occurred earlier this week – joined in the protest and indulged in violence. First, they pelted stones at the police as well as the media gathered to cover the protest, and then they torched the parked car.
The protesters also damaged a number of other vehicles outside the DCP’s office before DCP M.S. Randhawa led the force to chase away the protesters.
The protesters leading a march against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) paused briefly at Masjid Nabi Baksh at Delhi Gate to offer evening prayers. A group of elderly and young people formed a human chain at the barricades to stop people from indulging in any untoward incident.
According to Delhi Police officers, a large posse of security forces was deployed at Delhi Gate, near the Bahadur Zafar Shah Marg, and barricades were set up at Daryaganj Chowk, around a kilometre away towards the Jama Masjid.
Police had also deployed the anti-riot Vajra vehicle and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
A few thousand people had gathered at Jama Masjid earlier in the day to express resentment over the Act, and demanded its immediate roll back.