Anti-CAA protest: Plea in SC over traffic blockade in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 20-01-2020 19:31 IST | Created: 20-01-2020 19:31 IST
Anti-CAA protest: Plea in SC over traffic blockade in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh
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A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the police to ensure smooth traffic flow on Delhi's Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch which is closed for over a month due to anti Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests. The Delhi High Court on January 14 did not order forthwith removal of traffic restrictions, the plea said, adding the HC had said that no direction can be issued by it on how to handle an agitation or the place of protest and the traffic as it depended on ground reality and wisdom of police.

The high court had asked the police to look into the issue while also keeping in mind that law and order is maintained, it said. Lawyer-activist Amit Sahni has filed a special leave petition in the apex court seeking supervision of the situation in Shaheen Bagh, where several women are sitting on an indefinite protest, by a retired Supreme Court judge or a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court in order to circumvent any violence.

Sahni in his plea said that protests in Shaheen Bagh has inspired similar demonstrations in other cities and to allow it to continue would set a wrong precedent. "No one can be permitted to occupy a public road for any reason whatsoever under pretext of peaceful protest and that too for indefinite period to make others suffer for the same.

"The protests at public road cannot be permitted to continue as the same would set a wrong precedent and the same has inspired Shaheen Bagh-style protests in Prayagraj, Gaya, Nagpur, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Kota," the plea said. The petitioner also said that businessmen has been suffering huge losses as shops in the vicinity of the protest site are "bound or compelled" to remain closed due to the protests.

The Kalindi Kunj stretch is quite crucial as it connects Delhi, Faridabad in Haryana and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Commuters who use these roads are forced to take alternative routes -- Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Expressway and Ashram -- which is causing hours of traffic jams and wastage of time and fuel, the plea stated. "The protestors have been using loudspeakers, as per reports, thus 'unrestricted holding of public meetings', processions, demonstrations, etc. has caused obstruction to traffic and disturbance of public tranquillity. It is not known that for how long this road would remain closed and no protestors can occupy the road indefinitely.

"The situation is extremely sensitive as there is huge business loss to the businessmen, who are having shops in the vicinity but are bound/compelled to close their shops due to the alarming situation," the petition said. The high court, on January 10, had refused to entertain an application, in the form of letter, seeking directions for removal of demonstrators protesting the CAA at Shaheen Bagh here in order to clear road blockages that are causing traffic congestions at the DND route.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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