In an important development, 4 public-spirited persons — three lawyers and a law student have lodged a complaint against the indefinite protests staged at Shaheen Bagh to resist the new citizenship law. The complaint has been filed with the Delhi Police to initiate action against all protestors who by gathering in mass numbers continue to pose an unfathomed danger to the health and life of millions of Indian citizens on account of the coronavirus outbreak.
One of the complainants shared a copy of the complaint on Twitter
As the risk of Shaheen Bagh protestors getting exposed to Coronavirus continues, in the complaint filed by these activist citizens, it has been stated, “With the onslaught of the coronavirus (CoVid-19) that has gripped more than 182 countries causing a manifold increase in fatalities, the protests at Shaheen Bagh pose an imminent threat and danger to the lives of millions of Indians”.
Citing the preventive advisories issued both by the Union Government and NCT Government, the complaint alleges, “an assembly such as Shaheen Bagh has the capacity to unleash a pandemic of unmanageable proportions.”
While noting that “Under the pretext of the constitutional right to dissent, Shaheen Bagh has emerged as breeding grounds for an insidious campaign to destabilize India’s peace and security”the complainants have highlighted how the protest at Shaheen Bagh defy fundamental notions of civic obligations saddled on Indian citizens. In the complaint it has been noted that “the constitutional right to protest is not without responsibility. In insisting upon this right, people cannot absolve their civic responsibilities towards the country.”
To highlight the distressing gravity of the situation, the complaint also draws attention to recent media reports about a person who participated in the anti-CAA protests suspected of being infected by the deadly virus by coming in contact with a Saudi Arabia returnee who had tested positive for CoViD-19.
Various provisions of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked in the complaint to illustrate the defiant and illegal manner in which the protests at Shaheen Bagh have been organized ever since India witnessed a spike in the number of coronavirus affected patients. In particular, it has been stated, “It requires no elaboration that the above activities of the protestors severely impede the execution of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and the Delhi Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulations 2020. Since any assembly of five or more people that impedes the execution of any law constitutes an unlawful assembly under Section 141 of the Indian Penal Code, the protest at Shaheen Bagh squarely falls within that definition of the said offense. In addition, these protests also constitute offenses of public nuisance and negligent actions, which is likely to spread the infection of a dangerous disease threatening life that is punishable under Section 268 and 269 of the Indian Penal Code.”
The complainants have urged the Delhi Police to take strong action against the culpable persons by registering a FIR against them and take other preventive measures to avoid risking further spread of the disease.
As both the Union and State Governments across the country scramble their resources to prevent the transmission from slipping into community transmission stage, the sheer apathy of the Shaheen Bagh demonstration and its organizers to the difficulty faced by the country shows that it is just a facade to mask the insidious agenda of destroying India’s peace and tranquility. The filing of the complaint by these well-intentioned activists show that Indian public has no doubts that Shaheen Bagh is a selfish, malicious and undemocratic movement hell-bent on serving extraneous and oblique motives.
The complainants who have collectively filed the complaint with the Delhi Police are Sarthak Raizada, Shubhendu Anand, Nikunj Agarwal and Pradosh Shetty.