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Sunday, March 29, 2020

At Shaheen Bagh, protesters say open to mediation but won’t vacate site of sit-in

Some of the protesters said they were demoralised by the Supreme Court’s observations and demanded that the government help them.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi | Updated: February 18, 2020 3:02:50 am
Shaheen Bagh, Shaheen Bagh protests, Shaheen Bagh caa protest, supreme court on Shaheen Bagh, caa protest news The protest at Shaheen Bagh has been on for two months. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

After the Supreme Court deputed senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Sadhana Ramachandran to talk to the Shaheen Bagh protesters and convince them to shift, those on the ground said that while they were open to speak with the authorities, they have no plans of giving up.

The protesters, mostly women, have been holding a sit-in on road 13 A of Shaheen Bagh for over 65 days now. Petitions have been filed against blocking of the road as a result, which has thrown traffic out of gear in parts of Delhi and Noida.

Shahna Alam (60), one of the protesters, said, “This movement against the citizenship law and the government is very important to us. We can’t leave and settle at other places. We heard what happened at the court. They might not support us, but we’ll continue sitting here. The only issue is road closure, which can be solved. People want us to move, but that will break the momentum of this protest. We can talk to Hegde as he has come here before. He will understand us.”

Petitioners have said the protest shouldn’t be allowed on public roads. Some of the protesters said they were demoralised by the court’s observations and demanded that the government help them.

Sitting on a cot, Mehrunisa (60) said, “Why don’t people understand our issues? If the Centre agrees to remove CAA, we will stop protesting. Rather than solving the issue, they are busy removing us from here.”

Speaking from the stage, she told protesters they will continue the fight, but urged everyone to maintain law and order.

“Maintaining peace has always been our strength. We don’t clash with police or anyone. All we want is to stay here and protest. What is wrong with that? Police can come and remove barricades from the other side of the road and nearby places. We only need this canopy and the street,” said Afzaan (26), an organiser of the protest.

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