Shaheen Bagh Protesters Want Security If Road Parallel To Protest Site Is Opened

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Shaheen Bagh Protesters Want Security If Road Para
Friday was the third day of our interaction with the protestors at Shaheen bagh. Because we were at closer proximity with the protestors we could get a good sense of their anxiety, their pain, their fears particularly with regard to their security.

Opening of one way of the road which was not originally blocked by the protestors was discussed as a first step. The protestors clarified again that the blockade on the non-protest side had originally been imposed by the Delhi Police and not by them. However, later the protestors felt that the closed non-protest part of the road would ensure their security especially in the light of some incidents of attempted firing upon them earlier.

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In principle, the protestors were not fundamentally against the opening of the non-protest side of the road if their security could be guaranteed in writing by the Delhi police under suitable orders of the Supreme Court.

This morning we were very happy about the opening of the Noida-Faridabad road by the police. This brought substantial relief to the Faridabad commuters. However, we were informed that soon thereafter the road was again barricaded by the police for no apparent reason. This was extremely distressing to us and we wish to emphasize that the action of re-barricading the roads defeats the very purpose of confidence-building on the part of the police.

We wish to thank the protestors and the organisers and the volunteers for their disciplined interaction today. We also wish to thank the media for its discipline and restraint in filming our interaction with the protestors.

We will not be holding a public interaction tomorrow to enable the protestors to come to an independent conclusion as to the way forward. We will return on Sunday only if we deem it necessary and feasible to do so.