At Shaheen Bagh: ‘No one visited us after court directions’

Somya Lakhani

The road has been shut since last month. Gajendra Yadav

“I never stepped out of my house, not even to buy vegetables. Now that I have, I have no plans of retreating,” said Noor-un-Nisa (75), with a toothless smile.

At Shaheen Bagh Tuesday, rumours about the eviction of anti-CAA protesters by police were adrift — countered by volunteers who reassured protesters that the sit-in will enter its 32nd day. Rumours started after the Delhi High Court directed Delhi Police to look into restrictions on the usage of Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch as per “ground reality” and their “wisdom”.

A young volunteer said, “A senior police officer visited on Monday and spoke about wanting to open the other road as schools have opened up. The protesters don’t want that right now as there has been no dialogue with the government. No one has visited us after the court direction Tuesday.”

DCP (South East) Chinmoy Biswal said conversations with the elderly, market union heads, organisers and religious heads will be done to convince the protesters to peacefully withdraw from the stretch. A police officer said, “Protesters should understand that this is an inconvenience and it’s best not to create a law and order situation. No force has been used on the Shaheen Bagh protesters and no force will be used either.”

A volunteer at the protest said that “so far, no one from the volunteering team has been approached by the police Tuesday.”

A mobile shop owner in a lane close to the protest site said, “The protest is an inconvenience for the shopkeepers but implementation of CAA, NRC and NPR is a greater inconvenience.”