The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the Delhi Police to review restrictions imposed along the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch in the city, which has been closed since December 15 due to ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The HC directed the police to keep in mind larger public interest as well as maintenance of law and order.
The road was closed on December 15, 2019 after hundreds of women hit the streets of Shaheen Bagh to protest against CAA and NRC. The diversion has thrown traffic out of gear in South East Delhi and on the roads leading to and from Noida. While the diversion was meant to be a temporary measure, it has been extended due to the continuous protests.
The court’s orders came on a PIL that sought to open the stretch as the closure was causing “inconvenience or hardships” to lakhs of commuters every day. The petition, filed advocate and social activist Amit Sahni, sought direction to the Delhi Police Commissioner to withdraw the closure of Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh Stretch and Okhla underpass.
On Monday, a police officer appealed to protesters to vacate one side of the stretch, citing traffic woes and problems faced by parents who have to take a longer route to drop their children to school. But a month into their sit-in at Shaheen Bagh, women protesters have decided to stay put.
The plea said children, who take that route, are compelled to leave home two hours prior to school timing. It claimed that the authorities have failed to take appropriate action to give relief to the residents of the locality and lakhs of commuters of Delhi, UP and Haryana.
Besides Delhi Police, the plea has made the Centre and the Delhi government as parties, seeking from them requisite assistance to the police in addressing the issue.