New Delhi: Protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi refused to budge from the spot despite attempts to persuade them to leave, after the Delhi High Court Tuesday put the onus on the Delhi Police to manage traffic.
The high court disposed of an application seeking the removal of barricades from the Shaheen Bagh-Kalindi Kunj stretch, which has been closed off since the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act began in the area, which is not far from Jamia Millia Islamia.
The court said the police has the power to control traffic wherever protests are going on.
The Delhi Police then stated it would not use force to evict the anti-CAA protesters from Shaheen Bagh. And the protesters, predominantly Muslim women from the area, said they would not move an inch, come what may.
However, those at the forefront of the protest said they were willing to engage in a dialogue with the police to ease the traffic.
“Just like we have been making way for ambulances all this while, we can make way for school buses too. We are open to a discussion. But we won’t move until the CAA-NRC are scrapped,” said Hina Ashraf, a 30-year-old protester.
‘Won’t move, come what may’
“If the police comes here trying to evict us, it’s not like we will take it lying down. It has been trying to persuade us for a few days now, but we won’t move,” protester Naghma Parveen told ThePrint Tuesday evening.
Parveen has been part of the protests every day since 15 December, along with her two children, aged five and two.
“Some police officers did come during the afternoon. Some came yesterday as well, trying to persuade us to open the roads,” Parveen said.
Zainul Aabdeen, 29, who has been on a hunger strike for 32 days now, said neither the court order nor any potential police action will deter him.
“I have two sisters studying in Jamia Millia Islamia who witnessed violence in their university,” Aabdeen told ThePrint. “I am willing to sacrifice anything to protect our citizenship, to save the Constitution.”
Mani Shankar Aiyar addresses crowd
Meanwhile, politicians and activists continued to show up at Shaheen Bagh Tuesday to address the protesters.
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said: “One cannot imagine an India without Muslims and Islam. We won’t allow anyone to ask Muslims to leave this country. Not Modi, not Shah — no one.”