In a massive development, the Supreme Court on Monday appointed advocate Sanjay Hegde as an interlocutor to talk to protestors at Shaheen Bagh and try to persuade them on shifting the protest site, while hearing petitions seeking clearance of the Kalindi Kunj road which has remained blocked for over 60 days on account of the anti-CAA protest at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh. Moreover, the apex court has also asked the Centre to look into alternative protest sites like Ramlila Maidan, Janta Mantar, Lal Quila as such. While Hegde has suggested Justice Kurian Joseph to aide him in the mediation, the court has appointed advocate Sadhna Ramakrishnan as the second interlocutor. Next hearing will be held on Monday.
The apex court expressed concerns over the blocking of roads While the Court acknowledged the citizens' right to protest, the court has questioned the blocking of roads during protests. Arguing the case for Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has stated that the road was 'completely blocked' when an intervenor said that school buses, ambulances etc are being allowed. The Shaheen Bagh protests started on December 15 and continue to this date.
While listening to the petition the Justice Kaul observed," If this is allowed to continue on one road today for one legislation, tomorrow it will be another road for another legislation. If everyone starts blocking roads, even due to genuine concerns, where will we put a stop to this? We are not against people raising their concerns but the question is where can you protest as blockage of traffic and inconvenience to citizens is our concern".
Earlier on Saturday, Shaheen Bagh protestors announced that they will meet Home Minister Amit Shah at 2 PM on Sunday at his residence after the Home Minister had said that he was open to discussion on the amended Citizenship Act (CAA) with anyone including the protestors at Shaheen Bagh at a Delhi event. While the protestors did march to Shah's residence they were stopped by the Delhi police as they did not have permission. A delegation of the protestors talked to the police but refused to send a delegation to meet Shah. Then, they returned back to their sit-in protests at Shaheen Bagh.
Shaheen Bagh protests began on December 14 where thousands of people, including women and children camped on the streets have been a major poll controversy. Though PM Modi called it a 'political experiment', Congress and AAP have supported the protests - offering biryani to the protestors. Inspite of the Shaheen Bagh Coordination committee calling off their part of the protests on January 2, citing politicizing of the protests, the protests against NRC and CAA continue mainly led by Muslim women.