After the Supreme Court on February 16, appointed the interlocutors to speak to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh, the mediators, Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, arrived at the venue on Wednesday, February 19. Before entering the protest site, the mediators said that they were hoping to have a good conversation with the protesters. They also reiterated their faith in resolving the issue with the help of talks.
Upon reaching Shaheen Bagh, advocate Sanjay Hegde told the media, “Sadhana and I have come according to the orders of Supreme Court. We hope to speak to everyone. We ask that you (media) respect the privacy of the process. We will speak to everyone inside and we will keep everyone briefed on an equal basis with no favourites. We hope to resolve the matter with everyone’s cooperation and good faith.”
Interlocutor Sadhana Ramachandran also spoke to the press and said, “So the thing is that we are here under the directions of the Supreme Court. We hope that our talk with the protesters is good. We want to meet everyone and listen to all of them. We are all citizens, so it is important to listen to each other. Supreme Court also wants all of us to talk and arrive at a conclusion.”
On Monday, February 16 the SC bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kaul and KM Joseph heard multiple petitions demanding the removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh and the clearance of Kalindi Kunj road. While one petition has been filed by lawyer and activist Amit Sahni seeking the removal of protesters under the supervision of a retired judge of the Supreme Court or the Delhi High Court, BJP leader Nand Kishor Garg filed the second petition. The court questioned whether a public road could be blocked in this manner.
At the same time, the apex court clarified that the limited question before it was concerning the place at which an indefinite protest of this nature could be held. The bench named senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran as interlocutors to mediate with the Shaheen Bagh protesters and explore the possibility of shifting the protest to alternative venues such as Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar. The interlocutors have been directed to submit a report on the outcome of the talks by February 24, the next date of the hearing.