Shaheen Bagh: SC-appointed interlocutors advise restraints

The protesters were removed on Tuesday by Delhi police after prohibitory orders were issued
Last Updated 24 March 2020, 19:19 IST

Two senior advocates, appointed by the Supreme Court as interlocutors to talk to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh, on Tuesday asked the administration and the agitators "not to see the situation as win or lose as the country has a grave pandemic situation which must receive priority".

They also asked them "not (to) do anything, that will exacerbate the underlying tensions that culminated in the street protests".

The protesters were removed on Tuesday by Delhi police after prohibitory orders were issued and lockdown was imposed in Delhi due to Coronavirus pandemic.

"We request everyone to see the issue not as a question of win or lose. The country has a grave pandemic threatening it and currently that must receive priority in terms of everyone's attention," a statement by senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran said.

They said as interlocutors they had submitted two reports to the court, detailing efforts and the situation then prevailing over there.

They pointed out our process of interlocution has reinforced many valuable lessons, including the need for continued dialogue at all times.

"We believe that the Supreme Court mandated interlocution, kept Shaheen Bagh protests peaceful even while violence erupted in other parts of Delhi. Some rigours of the blockade were relaxed by the protesters clearing some peripheral roads. Today the few remaining Shaheen Bagh protestors have been finally dispersed peacefully with minimal force," they said.

The Supreme Court was to take up on Monday a plea related to removal of Shaheen Bagh protesters, holding a sit-in in Delhi since December 15, 2019 to protest against CAA-NPR-NRC.

However, the bench could not assemble due to Covid-19 situation.

Hegde and Ramachandran were on February 17 appointed as interlocutors to persuade the protesters to vacate the venue.

(Published 24 March 2020, 19:19 IST)

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