Won't use force to evict protestors from Shaheen Bagh: Delhi Police after court order

Won't use force to evict protestors from Shaheen Bagh: Delhi Police after court order

After the Delhi High Court directed the police to look into the traffic restrictions on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, the Delhi Police said that it will not evict protestors but hopes they will clear the area soon.

New Delhi, January 14, 2020: Dispelling rumours, the Delhi Police on Tuesday declared that it will not be evicting anti-CAA protestors from Shaheen Bagh.

The statement came after the Delhi High Court directed the police to look into the traffic restrictions on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch.

Officials from the Delhi Police told India Today TV that they are in touch with community leaders and traders in Shaheen Bagh. The police has also requested traders to open their establishments.

Making an appeal for the road to be cleared, Delhi Police officials said, "We hope that the protesters will understand the high court order."

"Better sense should prevail and the protestors should end the road blockade which has caused inconvenience to many in Delhi and Noida," the officials added.

The Delhi High Court had asked the police to look into the issue of traffic restrictions while also keeping in mind that law and order is maintained.

Community leaders at the Shaheen Bagh protest site said, "This [court order] is not a loss for us. The court is with us. Everyone standing with us."

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said however that no direction can be issued by the court on how to handle an agitation or the place of protest and the traffic as it depends on the ground reality and the wisdom of police.

The court passed the order while disposing of a PIL filed by advocate and social activist Amit Sahni seeking a direction to the Delhi Police Commissioner to lift restrictions on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch and Okhla underpass, which were closed on December 15, 2019, for ongoing protests against CAA and National Register of Citizen (NRC).

The Kalindi Kunj stretch is vital as it connects Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and commuters are forced to take the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Expressway and Ashram, which is causing hours of traffic jams and wastage of time and fuel, the plea said.

The court said: "We hereby direct the concerned respondent authorities (police) to look into the grievances ventilated by the petitioner in this writ petition... about the restrictions on usage of the road which is known as Kalindi Kunj- Shaheen Bagh Stretch, that is, Road No.13 A (between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj) as well as Okhla underpass, and will react in accordance with law, rules, regulations and the government policies applicable to the facts of the present case."

It further said the authorities should keep in mind the "larger public interest" and also the maintenance of "law and order".

The court refused, however, to direct the authorities to look into the issue in a time-bound manner.

The high court, on January 10, had refused to entertain an application, in the form of a letter, seeking directions for removal of demonstrators protesting the CAA at Shaheen Bagh in order to clear road blockages that are causing traffic congestions at the DND route.

(Source IT)