A lawyer Monday moved the Supreme Court, citing difficulties to local residents, businesses and commuters on account of ongoing protests against the new citizenship law in Shaheen Bagh and the subsequent closure of Road 13A between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj by the police.
Separately, the Delhi Police also appealed to protesters to vacate the premises, citing “difficulties” faced by school children, commuters and businesses.
The plea in the Supreme Court, filed by advocate Amit Sahni, urged the SC to direct the monitoring of the situation by a retired judge of SC or sitting judge of Delhi HC “in order to avoid any further deterioration of the situation and to circumvent any violence”, and issue any other directions as may be required.
Sahni, who had earlier approached the High Court, wondered “whether the protesters have unrestricted rights under Article 19 of the Constitution of India to protest on a busy road in violation of other persons’ right to have a thoroughfare and whether such protests can be permitted to continue, especially when a particular road is blocked for over a month”.
The petitioner said that while “there is no quarrel with the proposition that everyone has a right to protest, but the same is subject to reasonable restrictions, which can be imposed looking into the larger public interest”.
The plea said the Kalindi Kunj road is a vital route as it connects Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Sahni said the state “cannot be permitted to behave like mute spectators, particularly in a situation presently faced by persons living in the vicinity of Kalindi Kunj”.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police again appealed to the protesters to vacate the site. In an appeal on Twitter, police said, “We have already appealed to you once before. Meanwhile, more complaints have been received regarding inconvenience due to blockade of Road No. 13A, particularly to schoolchildren who are facing extreme hardship in reaching their schools, coaching centres and private tuitions. Their parents have expressed deep anxiety in view of forthcoming Board examinations. Daily commuters, local residents and businesspersons are also facing acute harassment. We once again appeal to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh to clear the road and restore normal traffic.”
The area station house officer has also paid visits to the protest site and requested the women to end the protest, but in vain.
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