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Shaheen Bagh protesters not to vacate site till CAA is revoked

A part of the road, which leads to Noida, was opened for transportation at Shaheen Bagh on February 23, 2020.

A part of the road, which leads to Noida, was opened for transportation at Shaheen Bagh on February 23, 2020.   | Photo Credit: BIBEK CHETTRI

We have been blocking only a 150-metre stretch, they say

With the hearing pertaining to Shaheen Bagh likely to come up before the Supreme Court on Monday, women who have been on a sit-in since December 16, said they are not willing to vacate the protest site till the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is revoked by the Centre.

The apex court had earlier appointed advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran as interlocutors to speak to the protesters about shifting to an alternative site while observing that the road blockade by them was depriving other citizens of their rights.

While one of the several routes blocked was opened by authorities on Saturday for traffic after several rounds of meetings between the demonstrators and mediators, protesters maintained that the route was never barricaded by protesters in the first place.

“People are saying that Shaheen Bagh protesters have opened the road towards Kalindi Kunj. But we never blocked it in the first place. The barricades over there were put by the police just like they have blocked other roads. We have been blocking only one stretch which is where the women are sitting. So how can we open a road which we haven’t even closed?” said Prakash Devi, one of the protesters.

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Ms. Devi added, “Even when the interlocutors came for a meeting we told them that it is only a 150-metre stretch that has been blocked by protesters. When they came for a second time, they went for an inspection and saw how the barricades were not put by us. In fact, we are ensuring that we allow ambulances and school buses to pass through this particular stretch so that no hindrance is caused to them.”

Aleena, a housewife added, “We hope that the facts are put before the Supreme Court. While there has been a lot of talk on inconvenience being caused to others, our concerns should also be brought up. The government has not made any attempt to reach out to us. Why should we even think of shifting the protest elsewhere? Will anyone even listen to us then?”

The protest against the CAA-NRC-NPR regime has entered its 71st day with hundreds of people gathering at Shaheen Bagh on a daily basis.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:50:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/shaheen-bagh-protesters-not-to-vacate-site-till-caa-is-revoked/article30896807.ece

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