Supreme Court-Appointed Interlocutors refuse to visit Shaheen Bagh tomorrow (Photo Credit: ANI)
The Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors are not happy with the way talks took place with the protesters at Shaheen Bagh and have asked them to pick another suitable venue for it. “We tried to maintain peace here for two days but this is not happening. We will not come here tomorrow… our sisters should choose some other suitable place,” one of the interlocutors said. Earlier, advocates Sanjay Hedge and Sadhana Ramachandran were not willing to start the discussion in the presence of media.
The protestors 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 protestors saying, "Aapne bulaya hum chale aaye (You called us and we are here)".
"We have to think over it and talk in detail. We are thankful that yesterday we received blessings from all dadis (the elderly ladies protesting at the site)," she said.
During the first meeting, Shaheen Bagh protesters openly talked about their right to protest and whey they fear the Citizenship (amended) Act and NRC. They also criticized the government for not talking to them directly. While hearing the protesters, Hegde did say that he was impressed by the views.
"We are unable to sleep at night and every woman is scared here. Our religion does not allow us to commit suicide but each day is killing us. Our condition is like patients who seek mercy killings," a protester said. The protest site witnessed firing earlier this month, triggering panic. Many women said they had been living in the area since generations.
"If you have daughters like you in India, then the country can never be threatened," Ramachandran said after listening protesters.
On February 17, the Supreme Court-appointed senior counsel Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran as interlocutors to talk to Shaheen Bagh protesters. In a stern observation, the top court said, “when strong views emerge, you cannot say don't put forth your strong views. Those things don't trouble us. The only thing troubling is the blocking of a public road.”
The apex court further said, “people have fundamental right to protest but the thing which is troubling us is blocking of public roads. Democracy works on expressing views but there are lines and boundaries for it.”
The top court also added, “if nothing works, we will leave it to authorities to deal with the situation.”