The Supreme Court of India has finally taken notice of the inconvenience that the Shaheen Bagh protest has caused to the people of Delhi.
Hearing petitions seeking the removal of anti-CAA protesters from Shaheen Bagh, the Supreme Court said protesters cannot block public road and create inconvenience for others. “If you want to protest, there can be some area where you protest. You cannot block a public road. Can you block a public area? There must be defined areas of protest,” the Supreme Court noted.
The plea had sought laying down of comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines relating to outright restrictions for holding protests or agitations leading to obstruction of public place. It said the law enforcement machinery was being “held hostage to the whims and fancies of the protesters” who have blocked vehicular and pedestrian movement from the road connecting Delhi to Noida. The State has the duty to protect fundamental rights of citizen who were continuously being harassed by the blockage of arterial road, the plea had said.
The Supreme Court has also issued a notice to Centre, Delhi government and police on pleas seeking removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh as it refused to pass orders on Monday. Saying that it will not pass any direction on Shaheen Bagh protest without hearing the other side, the Supreme Court listed the matter for hearing on February 17. “If it’s lasted for 58 days, you can wait one more week,” the Supreme Court observed.
The Supreme Court had earlier said it will hear the pleas seeking removal of anti-CAA protestors from Shaheen Bagh after the Delhi Assembly elections as it did not want to “influence” the polls.
The Shaheen Bagh protest has caused much inconvenience to the people of Delhi. Traffic flow on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch has been badly affected, which has meant that commute times for people travelling from Delhi to Noida has exponentially increased. This, of course, is the objective of the protest — protest mastermind Sharjeel Imam had said at a speech at Shaheen Bagh that the aim of the protest was to cause a Chakka jam in Delhi, and inconvenience the people of Delhi as much as possible.