Not Shaheen Bagh, but different spot for talks: SC mediators say dialogue not possible at protest site

India

As talks between the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors and Shaheen Bagh protesters over to vacate the road made little headway on Thursday, the third round is likely to be held at a different location on Friday.

Sources have told India Today that mediators want a more ‘neutral’ location to hold talks with the Shaheen Bagh protesters with no media present. The location of the new venue for the third round of dialogue, however, is not yet known.

Senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde, one of the mediators appointed by the Supreme Court had earlier told India Today that they did not want to stand on a platform and talk to protesters at Shaheen Bagh. Hegde said speaking from the stage to protesting women was akin to giving sermons.

The ay 2 of talks between interlocutors and Shaheen Bagh protesters made little headway on Thursday as the anti-CAA agitators remained firm on continuing with their sit-in at the site.

They told the interlocutors that once the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens are rolled back, they will not only vacate the road but also clean it.

Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, the SC-appointed interlocutors on Thursday said they not willing to start the discussion in the presence of media. When protesters managed to convince the interlocutors to let the media cover the proceedings, a media personnel’s remark irked them. The interlocutors subsequently asked the media to leave the tent where discussions were on.

On Monday, the Supreme Court observed that the blockade of the road at Shaheen Bagh was “troubling” and suggested the protesters go to another site where no public place would be blocked. It, however, upheld their right to protest.

The SC also asked Hegde to “play a constructive role as an interlocutor” to persuade the protesters to move to an alternative site. It said the interlocutors could seek former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah’s assistance.

Also Read | Day 2 of dialogue between Shaheen Bagh protestors, interlocutors did not yield any result

Also Read | Mediators at Shaheen Bagh Day 2: You are safe in India, says Advocate Sadhna Ramachandran

Also Watch | Shaheen Bagh standoff: Can mediators convince protesters to shift to other site?

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