07/01/2020 10:39 AM IST | Updated 07/01/2020 10:55 AM IST

Mumbai Protesters Claim Cops Are Not Letting Them Get Out Of Azad Maidan

While the police claimed that there were no detentions involved, protesters said on Twitter they were not being allowed to leave Azad Maidan.

Francis Mascarenhas / Reuters
Demonstrators attend a protest against attacks on the students of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), outside the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, India, January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

MUMBAI — The city has witnessed a massive gathering at the Gateway of India since the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University students and professors by a group of armed and masked people on Sunday night. On Monday morning, those participating in the “Occupy Gateway” protests took to Twitter and said they were being “forcibly” moved to Azad Maidan. 

The Indian Express reported that the police forced protesters into buses and moved them to Azad Maidan, the city’s designated space for protests. 

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The report quoted film writer Mayank Saxena, who was at the Occupy Gateway protest, as saying, “Around 200 of us were at Gateway when nearly a 100 police personnel came at around 6 am. Some of us were asleep and they woke us up asking us to vacate. When we refused, they forcefully made us sit in their van. Some women protestors were manhandled. We have been brought to Azad Maidan and the police is not letting us go, nor are they allowing anyone to come here. However, we have been asking youths to reclaim Gateway.”

The police had said that the protesters could continue their protests at Azad Maidan, but people took to Twitter to say they were not being allowed to protest there either. 

Actor Swara Bhasker shared screenshots of Instagram stories of people who appeared to be present at the situation. Many people said appealed others to reach Azad Maidan, but stay out claiming if they entered the police won’t let them leave.  

The police claimed that the protest was causing problems for the tourists and citizens of this country. 

A police officer told NDTV, “We appealed to them two-three times on behalf of the Mumbai Police. We appealed to them from time to time to be peaceful but because of them the roads were being blocked. Mumbaikars are being troubled, aspects of daily life of people are being affected.”

The Mumbai police Twitter handle later said, “Despite repeated sincere endeavors from local Police to convince them to relocate to Azad Maidan, they remained unreasonably adamant. Consequently, in the interest of general public, they were relocated to Azad Maidan, in a peaceful & professional manner.”