A Little Bit of Tear Gas for me, Your Average Weekend Protester!

by Mridula on December 23, 2012

in Canon D550,Delhi,India,Photography

The weekend protester that I am decided to go India gate today again. After all from tomorrow I will earn my daily bread! I was tweeting and knew that @db_DelAplha was also tweeting from there. Imagine my surprise that he turned out to be my friend from college and in all that crowd I met him as soon as I entered! We were together from the entire time.

Police near India Gate

Police near India Gate

As I walked in I saw these police men and like yesterday I could point my camera at them. They didn’t stop me. I started walking in to India Gate. Many metro stations were closed but Rajiv Chowk was open.

A Bit of Fire at India Gate

A Bit of Fire at India Gate

As soon as I walked a bit I saw this fire. There were three such fires going on and people chased away a fire brigade too. But these were small bonfires. And then a girl asked me for my mobile phone. While I gave to her my friend walked in and suddenly I realized the person I was exchanging tweets with I knew him too since a long time back. Imagine two tweeting people meeting in that crowd! What a coincidence.

Closer to India Gate it was All Peaceful

Closer to India Gate it was All Peaceful

As my friend had been there all day he said India Gate and its vicinity was an informal safe area and we stayed there for a while. I also saw a lot of people among the crowd telling others not to restore to violence otherwise the police will charge them. At times they were able to put some sense through.

Someone Posted a Note Near it!

Someone Posted a Note Near it!

Near this fire someone posted a notice later!

Water Canons Start at India Gate

Water Canons Start at India Gate

A little at a little distance towards Raisana Hill real action was. We went a little closer. And suddenly the water canons started and you can see that at a distance people were just standing. Water canons were at a distance. I was standing and without thinking too much I clicked a few pictures.

Within Two Minutes People Dispersed

Within Two Minutes People Dispersed

As soon as the water canons started people closer to the pitched scene started running in all directions. Within two minutes this was the scene, almost empty. Why lathi charge all the way then? My friend told me to say we were press if a policeman came near. We ran for a short distance and then we stood in a corner. Police came and an unknown gentleman in front of me showed his camera and said press. I said the same pointing to my camera. The police asked us to sit down.

The Media Van Behind which we Sat

The Media Van Behind which we Sat

Then the police came and asked the vendors to move and started cracking its lathi. So we went near this media van. By now tear gases were going all around. I don’t know how many shells I heard exploding. A father with his two year old was sitting with us. I had a duppata and a water bottle and it helps a lot in tear gas situation. Whoever had water passed it around to others. Soon others joined us and we must have been 10 strong all sitting down. In that chaos a little while later we realized that the father-kid had moved, there were a lot of ambulance I hope they got one. All this while I had no sense to use my camera. I did just one tweet. I was holding the duppata to my eye most of the time.

Then a group of policemen and policewomen came and asked us to move. We said where should we go as there is too much chaos. They said we will escort us out. One lady police also remaked, “aap bhi tou unhi logon ke sath baithte hain” (You also sit with them). I wonder who is this them?

The policeman below escorted us out. We shook hands with this policeman saying thank you.

This Policeman Escorted Us Out

This Policeman Escorted Us Out

I had seen someone picking up a stone and throw it back. We told him not to do that. But I wonder if I got a lathi myself would I not be tempted to throw a stone back? Not sure as I never got a lathi, just some tear gas.

I do not know what happened upfront when they started using water canon but I saw that the area was deserted within two minutes. I was close to the scene though not upfront. I am not that brave. The police continued to charge and use tear gas.

While walking out to get an auto, a little away from the scene, I told a policeman at the roundabout that I was a college teacher and you used tear gas at me! He lowered his eyes!

All my sympathies to people who got directly caught in the lathi charge and tear gas. I was luckier this time, I only got the tear gas.

But I am the weekend protester I go back to work tomorrow.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Related posts:

  1. I am but a Drop in the Ocean
  2. A Weekend Trip is on Cards!
  3. Another Bird from the Weekend
  4. On the Malaysian Roads with Police Escort!
  5. Weekend Traveling with Nokia N96

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Shalu Sharma December 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Something like this is very sad. Felt extremely bad for the girl. Hope some decent laws or some concrete steps will come out to protect women.

Reply

Mridula December 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Shalu the only silver lining is spontaneous public support.

Reply

magiceye December 25, 2012 at 7:51 am

Wonderful honest account! Good on you!

Reply

Mridula December 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

The least I could do.

Reply

arumugaeaswar December 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

My heart goes to the beleaguered youngsters who got lathi charged for championing a noble cause. Well-written.

Reply

Mridula December 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Yes Arumugaeaswar it was not required at all.

Reply

shajeer rahiman.a December 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm

the photos are good , i support your breave hearted ,
wish you a happy ‘x ‘mass

Reply

Mridula August 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thank you Shajeer. And we are still waiting for justice.

Reply

Rahul December 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Mridula, Take care….

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Thanks Rahul. We need to take care of the nation too!

Reply

Jay December 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hi Mridula,

It’s good to hear first hand accounts of people who actually went to the scene to support the cause. I must admire the fact that you have quite a lot of courage going there, in such a tense situation. The cause is certainly bolstered by individuals who, even if for the weekend, take out time to support this cause rather than catching up with a movie. Good going. keep it up.

Regards

Jay
My Blog | My FB Page

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Thanks Jay, I am sure a lot of us want to do some small bit that we can do.

Reply

Rajan C Mathew December 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

You are lucky indeed ! The policeman who helped you could not face you due to guilt. Then it is most unfortunate for this Gandhiji’s nation with impatient and cowardly leaders hiding behind Z-security and using all their might to suppress all kinds of peoples’ protests much worse than even the Britishers ! Instead of using police for crime detection and prevention, the neo Indian leaders want them to be used as brute force against the people ! How far they go like this ?

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Rajan.

Reply

obsessivemom December 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Wow! That was quite an account. Good to hear you took the time to be there.

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

But only on the weekend! I would also caution anyone who pans to go to be safe.

Reply

jahid akhtar December 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm

You are every where :) Nice

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

No Jahid I never even tried to go to the head of the barricade where the lathi charge and water canons started.

Reply

Parminder Singh December 24, 2012 at 7:24 am

nobody want to throw stones or use violence but when.u r beaten without any cause u r tempted to f*ck.the sh*t out if them

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I understand and just by getting a little tear gas and not actually a lathi!

Reply

Kajal December 24, 2012 at 12:44 am

You are such a brave girl.. Thumbs up! and I wish that girl will live a normal life soon , God plz help her :(

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

As I said just your ordinary weekend kind of effort!

Reply

Nisha December 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

You are brave Mridula, to go there and bring back photos and live accounts. Every single effort counts.
I wish I was there to be with you and others.

Reply

Mridula December 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I am not Nisha brave were those kids who stood at the barricade.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: