Hours after the Shaheen Bagh protest site in Delhi was evicted by the police, the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors, Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramachandran said the move should not be seen ‘as a question of win or lose’.
The sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register (CAA-NRC-NPR) that continued for more than 100 days, and led mainly by women, was cleared on Tuesday morning after the Delhi government imposed restrictions on assembly and movement of people as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.
WATCH| Shaheen Bagh sit-in protest cleared by Delhi Police amid coronavirus lockdown
Thanking the SC, the protesters, the police and the media for the ‘trust placed in us’, they said, “The country has a grave pandemic threatening it and currently that must receive priority in terms of everyone’s attention. We request the administration and the protesters to now not do anything, that will exacerbate the underlying tensions that culminated in the street protests.”
Saying that they had submitted two reports to the court, detailing their efforts and the situation then prevailing, the interlocutors said, ‘”Our process of interlocution has reinforced many valuable lessons, including the need for continued dialogue at all times. We believe that the Supreme Court-mandated interlocution kept Shaheen Bagh protests peaceful even while violence erupted in other parts of Delhi. Some rigours of the blockade were relaxed by the protesters clearing some peripheral roads. Today the few remaining Shaheen Bagh protesters have been finally dispersed peacefully with minimal force.”
Interacting with the interlocutors, the protesters had asked for a look into the deeper causes for the sit-in, and an SIT to enquire into all cases of police brutality, especially in universities like Jamia Millia Islamia, AMU and JNU.
PILs by advocate Amit Sahni and Delhi BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg in the Supreme Court had claimed that the protest and blockage of roads was causing difficulties to people. Acknowledging that people have a fundamental right to protest, the apex court had appointed advocates Hegde and Ramachandran as interlocutors to find a slotuion to the sit-in against the new citizenship law.
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