Supreme Court must ensure our safety: Shaheen Bagh protesters

They seek court help in the wake of move to open road parallel to protest site; Delhi Police admit that the protesters had not blocked the parallel road, but they (the police) had barricaded it to provide security to the protest site.

February 21, 2020 08:53 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 11:25 am IST - New Delhi

A view of the closed Noida-Delhi road at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on February 21, 2020. The road was opened briefly in the morning but was blocked again with police barricades.

A view of the closed Noida-Delhi road at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on February 21, 2020. The road was opened briefly in the morning but was blocked again with police barricades.

Shaheen Bagh protesters told the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors on Friday that if the road parallel to the protest site was opened, the court should pass an order ensuring their security.

“When several adjoining roads are open, why are they insisting that we move from this road? This is not the only road connecting Delhi to Noida,” a woman, who is on a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, told senior lawyers Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran on the third day of discussions. “We keep hearing about the inconvenience to people but no one asks about our inconvenience here,” said another protester. The interlocutors called the police to the spot to discuss the matter with the protesters.

Also read | Hyderabad varsity imposes ₹5,000 fine on three students for organising ‘Shaheen Bagh Night’ | Tribute to Pulwama martyrs at Kolkata’s Shaheen Bagh | Shaheen Bagh inspires Rajasthan towns |Chennai’s Old Washermanpet protest site is now ‘Shaheenpet’

The police admitted that the protesters hadn’t blocked the parallel road. An officer told the interlocutors and protesters that they had barricaded the parallel road as well as certain other roads adjoining the area as a security measure for the Shaheen Bagh protest site. “If the road is opened for commuters, we will ensure double security to protesters,” the police officer said.

A woman protester told the mediators: “The government thinks women are uneducated. All of us are educated women who know what we are fighting for. The students from Jamia Millia Islamia, who were teaching us more on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and proposed National Register of Citizens, are being beaten up. If the police could not stop the men who fired at us, how are they claiming that they will protect us if the parallel road is opened?” Another protester said, “We want in writing that if there is a single incident of attack or firing, the police officers, from the SHO to the Police Commissioner, should be shunted out.” Home Minister Amit Shah has said the NRC is not coming soon, so ask him to issue a circular saying they are not bringing the NRC now.”


The crowd agreed with the woman, shouting “We don’t trust Delhi Police”.

Road no. 13A, which connects the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and Okhla underpass, is closed since December 15 last year due to the ongoing protests.

(With inputs from PTI)

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