Delhi Police to Persuade Shaheen Bagh Women to End Anti-CAA Stir After HC Says Handle as Per Your Wisdom

New Delhi: Senior Delhi Police officials are likely to meet community leaders in Shaheen Bagh to try and convince them to call off their sit-in agitation against the amended Citizenship Act and National Register of Citizens, sources said.

Officials said any decision to remove the protesters will be taken after considering sensitivity as well as law and order situation since many women and children are a part of the sit-in agitation, which started on December 15 and has since become a symbol of the resistance against CAA.

While the protesters said they have asked police to open one side of the road on the arterial Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, the authorities are likely to insist that the protest be withdrawn.

The decision to meet the protesters was taken after the Delhi High Court directed the police to look into traffic restrictions while keeping in mind the “larger public interest”.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said that no specific writ, order or direction can be issued on how to handle the protest or the place of protest since the situation on the ground is fluid and can change every 10 minutes.

Asking the police to act per its wisdom, the court told the police that it had the authority to control the traffic situation while also keeping in mind that law and order is maintained.

The sit-in at Shaheen Bagh, which has mostly been led by a few hundred women who live in nearby areas, has emerged as the most enduring mark of demonstrations against the controversial CAA that have swept the nation.

The women, grandmothers and children, take turns to stay at the site day and night, despite the biting cold, rain and threats and have vowed to not leave till the legislation that fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants is rolled back.

Thousands of people throng the venue every evening as protests have continued relentlessly over the past one month. The past Sunday saw the biggest crowd here yet. Thousands of people filled the lanes around the protest site and read the Preamble to the Constitution and performed inter-faith prayers.

The Delhi High Court passed the order while disposing of a PIL filed by advocate 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 for the ongoing protests. It was a temporary measure but has been extended from time to time.

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, on January 10, had refused to entertain an application, in the form of 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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