A group of women in Hyderabad attempted to start an indefinite sit-in protest against the Centre's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Thursday night, but their attempts were foiled by the police.
Around 50 women gathered at Khwaja ka Chilla in Moghalpura and began a sit-in protest, which began at around 11 pm and went on till 4 am.
Many turned up with Indian flags, and as word spread about the protest, men and youth began joining in, raising slogans against the CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), in a flash protest.
The police, which was told that the women were offering prayers, immediately stepped into action and began detaining protesters.
They also allegedly resorted to mild lathicharge to control the crowd that had gathered outside the premises where the women were staging a sit-in. Putting up barricades, the police prevented the entry of more people into the area.
Detective Department Joint Commissioner Avinash Mohanty, who is holding additional charge as Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South Zone, visited the spot but the women inside continued to claim that they were simply offering prayers.
The police gave those who had gathered, time until 3 am, to disperse.
"Police have detained a couple of male protestors and sealed off the entire area. Protest has been called off," Faheem, one of the participants tweeted at 4 am.
Those who had gathered also found fault with the behaviour of the Hyderabad police, as they were protesting in a private property.
"Today, Hyderabad city police removed protesters from private property. I won’t feel bad. Because they showed us what they can do in future with you. They indicated to us that they can pick up anyone from their own house," Mubashir, one of the people who was part of the protests tweeted.
This is the second time that activists in Hyderabad have attempted to stage an indefinite sit-in protest.
Taking the police completely off-guard, a few women had begun a protest under the Tolichowki flyover on January 12. Holding the national flag and raising slogans against the CAA, they squatted on the road.
The Hyderabad police later registered a case against activist Khalida Parveen and a few students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) for organising the flash protest.
Stating that there was no permission for the meeting, the police had booked 65-year-old Parveen under Sections 143 (Unlawful assembly), 341 (Wrongful restraint), 290 (Public nuisance) of the IPC besides relevant sections of the City Police Act.