Mediator to talk to Shaheen Bagh protesters and police

Hegde says he will study SC order, hold consultations and chalk out a plan of action on Shaheen Bagh

February 18, 2020 10:16 pm | Updated 10:16 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Indefinite sit-in: Blockades on the national highway for the continuous protest against NRC and CAA at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Indefinite sit-in: Blockades on the national highway for the continuous protest against NRC and CAA at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutor to hold talks with Shaheen Bagh protesters, said on Tuesday that he would study the court’s order and chalk out a course of action in consultation with all stakeholders.

In its order, a Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph said, “Mr. Sanjay R. Hegde, learned senior counsel, is present in court, and we would like him to play a constructive role as an interlocutor to make the persons at the site see reason. He, along with Mrs. Sadhana Ramachandran, learned counsel, or any other person of his choice, may do so.”

The order, published on the court’s official website on Tuesday, also recorded advocate Tasneem Ahmadi’s submission that she would endeavour to talk to former bureaucrat and intervener Wajahat Habibullah and even take up with the protesters the court’s apprehensions about a prolonged blockade.

The court on Monday upheld the protesters’ right to dissent on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, but with a rider that they should not hamper public movement. “The law has been enacted by Parliament, and is facing a constitutional challenge before this court, but that by itself will not take away the right to protest of the persons who feel aggrieved by the legislation. However, the question is where and how protest can carry on without public ways being blocked. Our concern is more than this matter alone, as there may be persons of different points of view who may tomorrow seek to emulate this protest. Such a scenario only leads to chaotic situation. This must cease on public ways everywhere,” the court said.

It has scheduled the next hearing for February 24.

The interlocutors would most likely meet the protesters and the Delhi police in the next few days.

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