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Shaheen Bagh interlocutors hold 2nd round of talks, media not allowed

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: February 20, 2020 20:29 IST

The Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors met Shaheen Bagh protesters on Thursday in their second visit to the site where people have been on a sit-in since the last two months against the amended citizenship act.

IMAGE: Supreme Court appointed interlocutors Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramchandran interact with the protesters at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Advocates Sanjay Hedge and Sadhana Ramachandran, the interlocutors, were not willing to start the discussion in the presence of media.


The protesters tried to convince them that they want to represent their issues before the media, but the journalists were later asked to leave.

Ramachandran began addressing the protesters saying, "Aapne bulaya hum chale aaye (You called us and we are here)."

On Monday, the Supreme Court observed that the blockade of the road at Shaheen Bagh was 'troubling' and suggested the protesters go to another site where no public place would be blocked. It, however, upheld their right to protest.

The apex court also asked Hegde to 'play a constructive role as an interlocutor' to persuade the protesters to move to an alternative site. It said the interlocutors could seek former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah's assistance.

IMAGE: An elderly anti-CAA protestor gestures while she talks to Hegde and Ramchandran. Photograph: PTI Photo

Hegde said the apex court has recognised their right to protest.

"When Shaheen Bagh has become become an example of protests in India, let us set an example of a protest that does not disturb anybody. You all must be rest assured that we are here to fight for you. Don't think if you change your spot, your fight will die down," Hegde told the protesters.

The senior lawyer said, "We have seen many prime ministers come and go. Whoever comes in power and runs the country, sometimes some could be right and some could be wrong. Whatever you are saying the whole country is listening and also the PM."

The protesters have been demanding repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Ramchandran said she was 'really waiting' for that day when the 'country's atmosphere will change'.

IMAGE: The two interlocutors talk to protesters. Photograph: PTI Photo

An elderly man also expressed his fear about his children's security.

"I am very scared... I am very scared for my children. Madam save me," he said.

When Ramchandran asked him more about his fear, the man replied, "I am a single father. I will die and go but my children should get to live here with authority.

"My girls go to school where they are being told that you will go out of the country."

Ramchandran told protesters not to cry and speak openly.

Another man, while talking to the interlocutors, said, "I have a national flag on my bicycle. We love this country and stop calling us traitors."

His daughter told mediators, "I am a young girl and I want a beautiful India."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.