On Saturday evening, a road connecting Noida-Faridabad opened in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, but it was closed again after some time. A group of activists protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) withdrew from Road No 9, following which traffic movement started in the stretch. Shortly thereafter, another group of protesters came and closed the road again.
DCP South East Nebataya said that Road No 9 was opened by a group of demonstrators. But soon after, another group closed the road again. The tussle between the demonstrators continues and the fate of the commuters has not been decided yet unlike reports by several media houses.
There was a festive atmosphere as soon as Noida-Kalindi Kunj Road opened on Saturday evening. People burst firecrackers to celebrate the opening of the road. However, their celebration turned into disappointment after some time. Another group of protesters came and closed the road again.
This was the second time when commuters’ relief proved short-lived after yesterday’s partial respite when the Noida-Faridabad lane was opened for just 40 mins only for motorcyclists.
Shaheen Bagh demands the word from interlocutor Ramachandran
Earlier on Saturday morning, for the fourth consecutive day, interlocutor Sadhana Ramachandran arrived and persuaded the protesters to give people passage. The protesters placed seven demands before the negotiator, stating that the path would not be vacated until the CAA was withdrawn.
Ramachandran, who arrived here at 10.30 AM, said, “If the path is not opened, we will not be able to help you.” We are not asking to end the demonstrations.” She said, “I have not come here on behalf of the government. We will ask the Supreme Court to give you protection. You will be given a park where you can continue the demonstrations.”
However, the protesters turned down Ramachandran unanimously and placed seven demands before her. The protesters demanded, “If half the road opens, we need security and cover of aluminium sheets. Also, the cases filed against the people of Shaheenbagh and students of Jamia should be withdrawn.”
The squatters further demanded that the National Population Register (NPR) not be implemented. They demanded action against “controversial” statements by union ministers.
The demonstrators further demanded compensation for families of those killed in anti-CAA protests nationwide. The government should bear the expenses for the treatment of those injured during the protest, they demanded. “We do not trust Delhi Police; let the Supreme Court give assurance about our safety,” a protester said.
Ramachandran told reporters while leaving the protest venue, “I will talk to lawyer Sanjay Hegde about my visit.”
While appointing interlocutors Hegde and Ramachandran and mediator Wajahat Habibullah, the Supreme Court had made it clear they did not have the power to concede such demands of activists.
The blockade of this important arterial route connecting south Delhi and Faridabad to Noida has been going on for 70 days, inconveniencing regular office goers of three cities.