Shaheen Bagh Protest To Stay, SC-Appointed Mediator Tells Women
With the Supreme Court trying to find a middle ground with Shaheen Bagh protestors that doesn’t violate their right to protest but also opens up a blockade in the area for public usage, one of the three mediators appointed by the apex court, Sadhana Ramachandran said, “Shaheen Bagh will stay,” HT reported. Ramachandran said this during her speech at the venue and was received by loud applause. “We wish that a solution is found while letting Shaheen Bagh (protests) continue,” she added.
“Can we come up with a solution that the protests continue at Shaheen Bagh yet the roads are cleared,” Ramachandran asked.
“If a solution can be found, it will be great,” she added.
Ramachandran tried to advise the protestors that if the matter remains unresolved then it will be up to the SC and the government to decide on its future. “No one wants to get hurt and no one wants to hurt anyone, neither citizens’ of the country nor you people. If we don’t come to a conclusion, then the case will go back to the Supreme Court and then we will not be able to do anything. I don’t think this problem is unsolvable. Every problem has a solution,” she said.
Another advocate and interlocutor appointed by the SC in this case, Sanjay Hegde added to Ramachandran’s speech and said, “You have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh for the past 2 months, we stay together in India not to cause inconvenience to others but to grow together.”
“SC is saying that your right to protest should be preserved, but the staging of the protest should not lead to other people’s inconvenience,” he added.
On Wednesday, the three interlocutors including Ramachandran, Hegde and Wajahat Habibullah, former bureaucrat visited Shaheen Bagh to discuss the matter with them. Habibullah is certain that a solution to this situation can be found as he told India Today a day before, “Absolutely. You saw the goodwill. You saw the peace and calm. So I don’t think there should be a problem.”
They have been appointed by the SC on Monday as mediators in order to extend an arm to try and settle the matter so as to support protestors but also to resolve the issue of road blockade after speaking with them. During the hearing, the SC observed that the road blockade is “troubling” the commuters and suggested that the protest be moved to a different location to facilitate both the issues at hand. It directed Hegde to persuade the protestors to shift and said that the interlocutors could seek the assistance of Habibullah.
SC is saying that your right to protest should be preserved, but the staging of the protest should not lead to other people’s inconvenience.
The protestors at Shaheen Bagh, mainly women, have been on an indefinite sit-in demonstration since December 15 braving the chilling winters, rains, etc. Initially, they decided to protest against the violence that took place against the students of Jamia, many of whom belong to their families also because of the proximity between the two areas. However, one of their main demands as the protest has grown is to force the government to put an end to the implementation of CAA. They also want the government to give it in writing that it will not implement NRC and NPR nationwide.
Picture credit- NDTV