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Round two of Shaheen Bagh talks begin, interlocutors play Holi card for ‘positive solution’

Senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramachandran were tasked by the Supreme Court to convince Shaheen Bagh protesters to move to a different area.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed panel of interlocutors has initiated a second round of talks with Shaheen Bagh protesters as efforts to convince them to move to an alternate location continue.

Senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramachandran urged protesters Tuesday night to “embrace positive solutions” to resolve the deadlock over the protest site, especially in light of the upcoming Holi festival on 10 March.

The interlocutors emphasised that it was up to the protesters to decide on their options.

“We communicated to them that in this second phase, we expected them to discuss possible solutions amongst themselves and then inform us. In this regard, we urged them to understand their role as responsible citizens under the Indian Constitution and find solutions keeping in mind other fellow citizens,” read their statement.

It added, “We said that we interlocutors were not going to impose any decision on them, but rather expected solutions to emerge from their side.”

Hegde and Ramachandran began the first round of talks days before communal riots broke out in the national capital’s Northeast district. Despite spending several hours daily over a week, the advocates didn’t make much headway.

On 25 February, the top courts directed the two to continue the dialogue.

Also read: ‘Won’t move come what may’: Shaheen Bagh interlocutors face resilient protesters

Truce for Holi

Hegde and Ramachandran, who reached Shaheen Bagh around 8 pm Tuesday, were welcomed by the coordinators of the protest, and given a dais to address the crowd.

The advocates urged the protesters take the spirit of Holi into consideration and decide on a “positive solution”.

“With the oncoming festival of Holi, we requested them to embrace positive solutions for the best interest of the country and the Constitution,” said the senior advocates.

They also urged women-led protest to “keep in mind the future of children in Shaheen Bagh and all the other children of our country, for whose better future, we citizens are collectively working”.

The protesters did not react negatively, the statement claimed.

Hegde and Ramachandran also thanked the people for maintaining peace while the city was rocked by communal riots.

Also read: Left and liberals should stop looking for the perfect victim in Delhi riots

Legal process

The top court appointed the interlocutors while hearing two petitions that sought the protest site should be moved as it was causing major traffic inconvenience.

The 24×7 sit-in protest has been going on since mid-December, when the amended citizenship law (CAA) was passed in Parliament. The protesters claim the law is discriminatory and, when coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), will rob many of their India citizenship and leave them stateless.

A bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph had on 25 February adjourned the hearing of pleas against the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protest to after Holi. A day before, on 24 February, the interlocutors had submitted their first report in a sealed cover to the court.

Of the two petitions filed, one is by advocate-activist Amit Sahni, who stated, “No one can be permitted to occupy a public road for any reason whatsoever and that too for an indefinite period to make others suffer for this.”

The other petition was filed by former BJP Delhi MLA Nand Kishore Garg, who is seeking directions to authorities to remove protesters.

Former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, who was called to assist in the talks, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the Shaheen Bagh protests were peaceful and the inconvenience caused to commuters was because of “unnecessarily” police barricades — the argument the protesters have been making to counter the pleas.

Also read: Supreme Court can’t care for Shaheen Bagh children more than the parents


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  1. The human spirit is indomitable. It evolves all the more beautifully, under oppression. This panache in the human trait and instinct is commendable and laudable. The Jews, and those ghastly concentration camps, the excesses meted out to them, the meticulous planning, whereby, there was ethnic cleansing and the havoc that descended upon them, and the outcome is there for the world to see. They rose to the occasion, and confronted the situation with an alacrity, unprecedented and unheard of. They are the economic czars of this era. It’s no childs play to wipe out, erase or efface a nation from existence. To savour thoughts of exterminating the minorities in a contemporaneous age, when others are harbouring ideas and notions of overcoming the barrier of spacetime, is to beguile oneself. Who can be a deadlier anarchist than Ravana, a worst tormentor than Kansa, a more potent adversary than the Kauravas. But the spirit, to prosper, propagate and proliferate, could not be subdued. This is the beauty and miracle, that we human beings are, and the muslims as a minority is no different. You push them down into the abyss, you cut off their lifeline, you deny them the basics of survival, you discriminate against them, make a mockery of them, you bring out a whole host of army against them, try all the tricks that are rolled under your sleeves, they will come out smiling, unscathed and victorious. The powers that be, should be thanked, for in their derision is emancipation, in their mockery is liberty, in their disdain is our resolve, in their unrest is our peace. On the canvas of injustice, gospels of evolution and hymns of revolution are written. This is a revolution of the mind to be more peaceful, of the heart to be more loving, of the soul to be more blessed, of the body to be more energetic and of the vision to be able to see beyond. Lord Rama came out victorious, Vasudev and Devki came out glorious and the Pandavas had the last laugh. This is nature, this is destiny and this is divine Providence. It has it’s own ways of nurturing, preserving and sustaining all life forms. Man cannot overrule this divine and sacrosanct law. Jai Hind.
    (Md. Israil)

  2. These so-called interlocutors should tell the SC not to waist tiime and do their job of giving judgement according to law. because they have stopped giving justice long before such gimmicks don’t work we have seen in the Babri masjid issue.

  3. Corona Virus outbreak next from ShaheenBagh – ladies sitting there for whatever reasons (genuine fear or daily money earning given by elements) or other reasons), must realise their families will get sick faster if they carry Covid19 back home!!

    • If you feel they are paid protesters, please visit and offer double the money to vacate the space, incase if you won’t succeed then convey message to country and join protest.

      • Why should money should be paid to vacate the space.perfect model to earn money. They can continue the protest anywhere without blocking road.

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