The road connecting Faridabad to Noida was briefly reopened by Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday. The road has been blocked for the last 69 days since the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests began at Shaheen Bagh in south-east Delhi. The route was cleared to ease congestion but the cops put barricades back on the road within 40 minutes of opening it.
To ease traffic due to protests, the UP Police has briefly reopened the road leading from Kalindi Kunj towards Faridabad. However, the road connecting Noida with Delhi remained closed.
— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2020
The interlocutors appointed by the Supreme Court had indicated on Thursday that the possibility of opening of some routes despite the impasse in talks with the protestors who have refused to abandon their protest venue until the amended citizenship law is rolled back.
The protestors in Shaheen Bagh currently occupy a stretch of GD Birla Marg, a road that connects Delhi to Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Nearby locality residents have complained that the blockade is causing them inconvenience, while commuters travelling on this route claim it has added to their travel time.
But according to Scroll, the public inconvenience was not merely because of the closure of GD Birla Marg. Two alternative routes that could have been used by commuters have also been barricaded by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police. The report which had mapped the roads in the area, also states that Delhi Police officials have not given any explanation as to why they had barricaded the entrance to the alternative routes and said it was “just a security measure”.
Talks between the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors and protesters over vacating the road at Shaheen Bagh made little headway on Thursday as the anti-CAA demonstrators remained firm on continuing with their sit-in at the site. They told the interlocutors that once the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are rolled back, they will not only vacate the road but also clean it.
Senior lawyers Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran were not willing to start the discussion in the presence of media on Thursday.
When the protestors managed to convince the interlocutors to let the media cover the proceedings, a media personnel's remark irked them. The interlocutors subsequently asked the media to leave the tent where discussions were on. The discussion lasted for nearly three hours.
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.
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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2020 13:22:33 IST