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Shaheen Bagh protest: SC says blocking roads troubling, sets up panel to persuade protesters to end blockade

The court said that people have a fundamental right to protest but blocking public roads is troubling.

The Supreme Court on Monday appointed an interlocuter to persuade anti-CAA protesters at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh to end the over two-months-long blockade and shift to an alternate venue. During the hearing, the apex court asked who could be appointed as an interlocutor to talk and persuade the protesters. According to reports, the names of senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran came up for being appointed as an interlocutor.

As per PTI, the top court has asked Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran to talk to protestors and persuade them to move to an alternative site where no public place is blocked. The court said that people have a fundamental right to protest but blocking public roads is troubling. The court also suggested that the Delhi Police may also offer an alternative site to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.

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Following the court instructions, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the court that let a message not go that the institutions were brought to their knees before the protesters. To this, the court said that the authorities could have taken steps before. It then asked Mehta, “Why didn’t the institution act in the last 8 days?” The court further said that it will leave the case to the authorities if mediation doesn’t work.

Hundreds of women protesters have been sitting on an indefinite protest against the amended citizenship act since December 15, 2019. Due to the protest, traffic movement on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch has been closed for over two months. The Kalindi Kunj stretch connects Delhi, Faridabad in Haryana and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Due to blockade of this route, the commuters are forced to take the Delhi-Noida-Delhi Expressway and Ashram, which is causing hours of traffic jams and wastage of time and fuel.

The Supreme Court has fixed the matter for further hearing next Monday (February 24).

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Source: Financial Express