Delhi: At Shaheen Bagh, barricades on alternate routes add to congestion

Jignasa Sinha
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The protest has hit traffic between Delhi and Noida as police have barricaded several stretches, including Road 13A. (File)

As the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protest enters its second month, police are looking into security arrangements near the area after the Supreme Court Monday asked them to submit a status report on the same on February 17. This was in effect to several complaints filed against protesters for causing “road blockage”.

The protest, led by women, has been on since December 15 at Road 13A, between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj. It, however, has hit traffic between Delhi and Noida as police have barricaded several stretches, including Road 13A. Though protesters occupy only one side of the 800-metre road, the other side is also blocked, with only ambulances and school buses allowed to pass.

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Though protesters occupy only one side of the 800-metre road, the other side is also blocked, with only ambulances and school buses allowed to pass.

DCP (South East) R P Meena said, “The other side of 13 A is blocked as protesters walk around there. It is part of security arrangements.” Police also placed barricades near Kalindi Kunj Metro station — blocking the Kalindi Kunj Khadar road—after incidents of firing and pro-CAA rallies at the site.

UP Police also put barricades on the Kalindi Kunj bridge, which connects Noida and Delhi, blocking Meethapur road. Rajesh S, DCP (traffic), Noida police, said: “The barricades make people aware of the blockage ahead... Even if they cross ours, they can’t go further because of Delhi Police barricades. When they remove their barricades, we will remove ours.” These additional roads, though narrow, could have lessened traffic congestion. Security was stepped up after a man fired at the site on February 1. Near the Shaheen Bagh T-point, police teams guard both sides of the road while there is another barricade 250 metres ahead.

Read | Why the libraries on anti-CAA protest sites are essential to their democratic politics

One of the protest organisers Abid Sheikh said, “Police can remove barricades near Kalindi Kunj station... We only want police protection.”

On Friday, actors, stand-up comedians and singers, including Ratna Pathak Shah, Varun Thakur, and Aditi Mittal, visited JNU to celebrate Valentine’s Day by declaring their love for the country. Director Anurag Kashyap also visited Jamia and Shaheen Bagh to support the protests.