Sunday, April 14, 2024

Shaheen Bagh: Interlocutors submit report in SC, hearing deferred to Wednesday

Advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, who were appointed by the Supreme Court to talk to Shaheen Bagh’s anti-CAA protesters sitting on a road for over two months, submitted their report today in a sealed cover before a bench of Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.

The court deferred the hearing to February 26 on a plea seeking clearance of the road blockade.

The petition was filed by advocate and activist Amit Sahni who alleged that protest in the Shaheen Bagh area are disrupting daily life.

On Sunday, Wajahat Habibullah, another SC-appointed interlocutor, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on issue.

Habibullah is a former IAS officer and former Chief Information Commissioner and former chairman of National Commission for Minorities.

The top court had asked advocates Sanjay Hegde, Sadhana Ramachandran and Wajahat Habibullah to speak to the anti-CAA protesters at Shaheen Bagh and find a solution, and they spoke to the protesters every day.

In his affidavit, Habibullah said that the police had blocked five points around Shaheen Bagh. “If these blockades are removed then traffic will become normal. Police have unnecessarily blocked the roads causing problem to the people,” the affidavit read.

He had also urged in the affidavit the Centre should speak to the protesters regarding CAA, NPR and NRC.

“We have come here according to the order of the Supreme Court. We hope to speak to everyone. We hope to resolve the matter with everybody’s cooperation,” Hedge and Ramachandran told protesters.

Ramachandran had also echoed the Supreme Court order, she had said, “The Supreme Court has said that you have the right to protest. The law (CAA) has been challenged in the Supreme Court. But like us, others too have their rights, like the right to use roads, open their shops.”

Around 700 women, some of whom with children, have been camping since December 15 and refused to move till the controversial statute is withdrawn.

On January 14, a Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar had held that the police have all power, jurisdiction, and authority to control the traffic, wherever protests or agitations are going on, in the larger public interest.

While disposing of the petition filed by advocate and activist Amit Sahni, the court had said that maintaining law and order is a state function and authorities concerned should look into it in the larger interest of public.

The Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh Stretch i.e. Road No. 13 A (between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj) as well as Okhla underpass, were closed on December 15, 2019, due to the protests as a temporary measure, but the road closure was extended from time to time till date.


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