Shaheen Bagh: 'Police have power to control traffic'

Shaheen Bagh protests: 'Police have power to control traffic in such areas'

Central Reserve Police Force personnel are pictured next to a barricade at a protest site, in Shaheen Bagh, area of New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked Delhi Police to act in accordance with the law and keeping in mind larger public interest to a grievance for withdrawal of closure of a road between Kalindi Kunj and Shaheen Bagh for a month due to sit-in organised in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“Whenever any agitation or protest is going on, situation is like fluid, keep on changing looking to the temperament of the protesters and resistances by other people. Simultaneously, police have to maintain law and order,” a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said.

The court said, hence, the Delhi police would have all power, jurisdiction and authority to control the traffic, wherever protests or agitations are going on, in the larger public interest.

"In such a situation, no specific writ, order or direction can be issued by this court as to how to handle the agitation or protest or the place of protest and the traffic. It all depends upon the ground reality and the wisdom of the police, where situation may keep on changing every 10 minutes," the bench added.

A PIL was filed by advocate and social activist Amit Sahni seeking a direction to the Delhi Police Commissioner to lift restrictions on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and Okhla underpass, which were closed on December 15, 2019, for ongoing protests against CAA and NRC.

The Kalindi Kunj stretch is vital as it connects Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and commuters are forced to take the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Expressway and Ashram, which is causing hours of traffic jams and wastage of time and fuel, the plea said.

The high court had on January 10 refused to entertain an application, in the form of a letter, seeking directions for removal of demonstrators protesting the CAA at Shaheen Bagh here in order to clear road blockages that are causing traffic congestions at the DND route.

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