Like you, others too have rights: Mediators to Shaheen Bagh protesters
New Delhi: When the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors visited Shaheen Bagh on Wednesday to initiate talks with the protesters, they received a standing ovation from every corner. Senior Counsel Sanjay Hegde and advocate Sadhna Ramachandran took to stage within no time and explained the Supreme Court order to the demonstrators.
"The Supreme Court order acknowledges your right to protest, however, this agitation is leading to a blockade. It is causing disruption in people's daily lives and as much as it is your right to protest, it is also their right to live their lives without interruption," Ramachandran said while reading out the order.
While the interlocutors seemed primarily focused on the road blockade issue, the protesters were ready to engage in discussing with them the actual reason for the protest and effects of CAA and NRC on a particular community.
"It seems everybody is concerned about the road blockade but has anyone bothered about our existential crises? Our government doesn't even see us worthy enough to talk to. If this is the case we would request the government to give us euthanasia as death with dignity is better than the life of humiliation," said Fatima, a protester at Shaheen Bagh.
Another protester Prakash Devi said: "There have been several attempts to malign the protest and the protesters. Sometimes, we are accused of sitting for Rs 500 and sometimes we are accused of having biryani. It's very good that the court has taken cognisance of the child death here but what about deaths of lakhs of children who die of malnutrition and hunger?"
Hegde said: "After listening to you, I am reminded of a line — Liberty lies in hearts. People like you who walk holding the Constitution are the hope for freedom to live."
The interlocutors, before leaving also told the protesters that they have time till Sunday to discuss the issue as the Supreme Court has set February 24 as the next date of hearing.
Later, Wajahat Habibullah also visited the protest site after Hegde and Sadhna Ramchandran left.
"Protesters are proud Indians, have confidence in the Constitution and all expressed that together, a solution can be reached," Hegde and Ramachandran said in a joint statement after the meet.
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