Expect Shaheen Bagh protesters to come up with amicable solutions, says Sanjay Hedge

Sanjay Hegde, one of the two interlocutors appointed by the Supreme Court to hold talks with protesters at Shaheen Bagh area to convince them to hold the agitation at an alternative site, said that they expect the protestors to come up with amicable solutions.

“We urged them to understand their role as responsible citizens under the Indian constitution and find solutions keeping in mind other fellow citizens. We said that we interlocutors were not going to impose any decision on them, but rather expected solutions to emerge from their side,” Hegde’s statement read.

“With the oncoming festival of Holi, we requested them to embrace positive solutions for the best interest of the country and the constitution,” it added.

The statement added that upon resuming talks, the team of interlocutors had expressed their appreciation to the protestors for maintaining peace at the protest site despite violence in other parts of Delhi.

“In accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court, which has directed us to resume our dialogue with the protesters at Shaheen Bagh, we went to the site of the protests on March 3. We expressed our appreciation to the protesters for maintaining peace at the protest site, despite the violence that has recently rocked other parts of Delhi,” it read.

The protesters, according to Hegde, were made aware of the fact that the team of interlocutors would be readily available to them “whenever they are collectively ready with any possible resolution of the current situation.”

On February 17, the Supreme Court had appointed senior lawyers Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, besides former CIC Wajahat Habibullah, to hold talks with protesters at Shaheen Bagh area to convince them to hold the agitation at an alternative site.

The interlocutors had submitted their reports to the SC in a sealed cover on February 24.

Thousands of people, the majority of them women, have been holding a sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed NRC at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area since mid-December last year.

A PIL was filed by Nand Kishore Garg and Amit Sahni through their lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi seeking appropriate directions to the Centre and others for removal of protestors from Shaheen Bagh near Kalindi Kunj.

It stated that people in Shaheen Bagh are illegally protesting against the CAA 2019, by blocking the common and public road connecting Delhi to Noida.

The petition seeks appropriate direction to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) for laying down detailed, comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines relating to outright restrictions for holding protest/agitation leading to obstruction of the public place.

The apex court will be hearing the matter on March 23.

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