Senior counsel Sanjay Hedge and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran, who were appointed as interlocutors by the Supreme Court, visited Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh to talk with the protesters. A peaceful sit-in has been continuing for over two months at Shaheen Bagh against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The interlocutors explained the Supreme Court order to the protesters. “The Supreme Court order acknowledges your (people’s) right to protest, however, this agitation is leading to a blockade. It is causing disruption in people’s daily lives and as much as it is your right to protest, it is also their right to conduct their lives without interruption,” Ramachandran said while reading out the order, according to The Indian Express.
“As a country, we must respect each other’s rights. We should resolve this issue together and should become a global example,” she added.
Many protesters said that they will cleat the site only after CAA was removed. Responding to the concerns, Ramachandran, according to PTI, said all the points will be put forward before the Supreme Court and discussed in detail.
“However, I want to say one thing. A country that has daughters like you can never face any threats,” Ramachandran added.
Later, talking to reporters, Ramachandran said that they will come back on Thursday because it’s not possible to complete talks in a single day.
Hegde said that they listened to the protesters and he “will keep all their words in mind”, according to News18.
The interlocutors also told the protesters that they have time till Sunday to talk because the Supreme Court has set February 24 as the next date of hearing.
The top court had on Monday appointed Hegde and Ramachandran to talk with the protesters about moving the Shaheen Bagh protest to an alternate site which is earmarked for protests.
The court was hearing a plea by advocate Amit Sahni and former Delhi MLA Nand Kishore Garg, seeking directions to the Delhi Police to ensure smooth traffic flow on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch.
The protesters, according to Hindustan Times, opposed the claims that the protest was causing inconvenience to commuters. A protester told PTI that they are protesting to save the Constitution but people see only the inconvenience of commuters who have the option of taking so many other roads. “The road hasn’t been blocked by us. In fact, it is the Centre that has blocked freedom in this country,” she added.
A protester was quoted in the Hindustan Times report as saying, “We are asked to move, we will move but the protests will continue.”
(With PTI inputs)