Delhi

Shaheen Bagh stir: HC asks police to look into traffic restrictions

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Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch has been closed since December 15

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the police to take a call on traffic restrictions on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, which has been closed since December 15 due to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Whenever any agitation or protest is going on, the situation is fluid... it keeps on changing with the temperament of the protesters and resistance by other people, the HC noted, adding: “As police has to maintain law and order... it has all power, jurisdiction and authority to control traffic — whenever protests or agitations are going on — in the larger public interest”.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar said the court cannot issue any direction as to how to handle the agitation or protest or the place of protest and the traffic. “It all depends upon ground reality and the wisdom of the police, where situation may keep changing every 10 minutes,” it said.

The order came on plea by advocate and social activist Amit Sahni who contended that the road closure was causing huge inconvenience and hardship to lakhs of commuters everyday who have been compelled to take different routes for the last one month.

The plea said that the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch was crucial as it connects Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh). It added that commuters are forced to take alternative routes such as the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Expressway and Ashram, which is causing massive traffic jams.

The plea said that the temporary closure of the stretch and the Okhla underpass has been extended repeatedly. “Apart from the temporary road closures, traffic has also been affected as part of Mathura Road is dug up for the construction of an underpass, which is expected to ease the congestion at Ashram Chowk, Mathura Road and the adjoining arteries by connecting Nizamuddin to New Friends Colony,” the plea added.

The plea further contended that children who used the blocked stretch to reach their schools are now compelled to leave their homes two hours early in order to reach in time. It added that the authorities have failed to take appropriate action to give relief to the residents of the locality and lakhs of commuters of Delhi, U.P. and Haryana.

On January 10, the HC had refused to entertain a separate plea seeking directions for removal of demonstrators protesting against CAA at Shaheen Bagh.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 7:03:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/shaheen-bagh-stir-hc-asks-police-to-look-into-traffic-restrictions/article30570536.ece

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