Delhi police admits it shut the road, not protesters.
New Delhi: The two Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors began the third day of their discussions with the Shaheen Bagh protesters on Friday evening. The protesters said if they opened the parallel road to the protest site, the Supreme Court should pass an order ensuring their security. The Delhi police also admitted the protesters hadn’t blocked the parallel road, but it was the police that barricaded the road to ensure security at the Shaheen Bagh protest site.
Meanwhile, the Noida police reopened the road linking Noida to Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj briefly for 40 minutes on Friday morning, leading to some traffic movement. The police said the barricades at Noida’s Mahamaya Flyover were removed for some time Friday morning “only to clear the passage of a bus. The barricades were restored minutes after the road was reopened.”
A woman protester told senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sandhana Ramachandra, the two interlocutors: “When several adjoining roads are open, why are they insisting that we move from this road. This is not the
Mr Hegde said: “Today is Shivratri. Aaj agar koi gaali de tab bhi duwa ban jati hai. It is your right to speak, speak up. Say everything you want to say. Let’s take a joint decision for all parties affected here.”
The protesters told the interlocutors the Delhi Police had barricaded the roads parallel to the tent as well two other roads that connect Shaheen Bagh and Kalindi Kunj. It was not they who blocked the roads, but the police. The interlocutors also called the Delhi police to the spot to discuss the matter with protesters.
A police official told the interlocutors and protesters that the parallel road was shut off to ensure protection at the protest site. The official saiid some other roads in the area were also barricaded to ensure protection. The official said: “We barricaded the parallel road to protest site (the tent) to ensure security to the protest site. If the road is opened to commuters, we will ensure double security for protesters.”
A woman protester stood up and told the mediators: “The government thinks the women are uneducated. We all are educated women who know what we are fighting for. The students from Jamia Millia who were teaching us more on the CAA and NRC are being beaten up. If the police couldn’t stop men who fired at us, how are they saying they will protect us if the parallel road is open?”
The protesters said if the road adjoining the protest site (the tent) is open, the Delhi police must ensure security to the protesters.
Another woman protester said: “We want in writing that if there is single incident of attack or firing, police officials from SHO to police commissioner should be shunted out. HM Amit Shah said the NRC is not coming soon, so ask him to pass the circular from MHA that they are not bringing in NRC now. We want Supreme Court to pass an order on our security if the adjoining road to the protest site is opened.”
Mr Hegde said: “The issue is not about only about the opening of this road, open the roads of your heart. We all are humans, and as humans if you can lessen another human’s pain, you will be a greater human.”
The protesters said they are ready to let the parallel road be opened, but want their security assured in writing. The interlocutors checked all roads linking Delhi to Noida late on Thursday alongwith some protesters and Delhi police officials.
Ms Ramchandran said: “When we checked the roads, we noticed that you (protesters) were right. Many roads are open which were blocked by the Delhi police. I am very upset saying this, that the Noida-Faridabad road that was opened today was again closed by the police. Whoever has done this is now answerable to the Supreme Court.”