The passage between Kalindi Kunj to Nodia (via Road No. 9, Okhla) which was blocked for more than two months due to the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh was opened briefly on Saturday.
The passage was opened after the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors assured the protesters that their demands would be taken up before the Supreme Court.
DCP South East RP Meena visited the site to review the situation. However, the barricades are partially placed and the police are checking every car passing through the passage.
The police official said that Road No. 9 was reopened by a group of protestors, but was later closed by another group. Again, a group of protestors reopened a small stretch of the road. Meanwhile, there’s no clarity if all the protestors have consent over the opening of the passage.
The passage was blocked by the police after protests continued in the Shaheen Bagh area of the national capital against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) since December 15, 2019.
The move comes four days after the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors met the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
Earlier in the day too, Supreme Court-appointed interlocutor Sadhna Ramachandran made a surprise visit to Shaheen Bagh and the protesters put forth a series of demands before her.
Addressing the protesters, Ramachandran said, “If the road isn’t cleared, then even we would not be able to help you. We are not saying that Shaheen Bagh should be dismantled.”
The protesters asked her if there was any direction from the Supreme Court about their security. They also told her that cases against Jamia and Shaheen Bagh protesters should be withdrawn.
The protesters demanded that the proposed National Population Register should not be implemented and action be taken against ministers for their controversial remarks. The families of those who died or injured during the agitation should be given compensation and the government should promise security for the protesters.
Ramachandran, while leaving the protest site, said she would speak to Sanjay Hegde, the second interlocutor appointed by the top court, about her meeting with the protesters. “The agitation has been continuing for more than two months, putting at discomfort many people who live near the protest site,” she said.
Earlier on Friday, the Noida-Faridabad road, near Shaheen Bagh was opened briefly for about 40 minutes to ease traffic congestion.
The apex court had on Monday appointed two advocates and a former bureaucrat as mediators to talk to the protesters, who are on a sit-in for over two months, and find a solution to the problem.
Following this, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde and lawyer Sadhana Ramachandran met the protesters on Wednesday and Thursday in a bid to break the deadlock over reopening of the blocked stretch in south Delhi.
Shaheen Bagh has been the epicentre of the anti-CAA agitation as the protesters have been sitting at the venue since December 15 demanding the withdrawal of the Act which they alleged to be anti-Muslim.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had begun hearing a petition seeking directions to the police to take action to ensure smooth traffic movement on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, which has been closed for over two months due to the CAA protests, making the public at large suffer.
The plea moved by lawyer-activist Amit Sahni on January 20 sought supervision of the situation in Shaheen Bagh where several women are sitting on an indefinite protest, by a retired Supreme Court judge or a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court to avoid any further deterioration in the situation and to circumvent any violence.
BJP leader Nand Kishor Garg had also sought a direction from the top court to the Centre, police and state government to take immediate steps to remove protesters from Shaheen Bagh who have been protesting for more than a month against the Citizenship Amendment Act by blocking the road connecting Delhi to Noida.
The Supreme Court had observed that protesting is a fundamental right, but can’t block public roads.