Senior Advocates and Mediators in the Shaheen Bagh case visited the protest site for Day 3 of negotiations on Friday. Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran on 21st February, 2020 spoke about their experience in an interview with LawStreet Journal saying, "Today was the third day of the our interaction with the protesters at Shaheen Bagh. Because we were at closer proximity with the protesters 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 protesters was discussed as a first step. The protesters clarified again that the blockade on the non - protest side had originally been imposed by the Delhi police and not by them. However later they 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." As quoted by Sadhana Ramachandran, "In principle the protesters were not fundamentally against 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."
Further to which Sanjay Hegde added, "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 police.We wish to thank the protesters and the organizers and the volunteers for their disciplined interaction today. We also wish to thank the media for it's discipline and restraint in filming our interaction with the protesters.We will not be holding a public interaction tomorrow to enable the protesters 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." A woman protester had stood up and told the mediators, "The government thinks women are uneducated. All of us are educated women who know what we are fighting for. The students from Jamia Millia Islamia University, who were teaching us more on CAA and NRC, are being beaten up.""If the police could not stop the men who fired at us, how are they claiming that they will protect us if the parallel road is opened," she questioned. Further to which, advocate Ramachandran agreed to all the claims made by the protesters about police blocking the roads. "When we checked on the roads, we noticed that you (protesters) were right. Many roads are open, which were blocked by the police. I am very upset to say that the Noida-Faridabad road, which was opened on Thursday, was again closed by the police. Whoever has done this is now answerable to the Supreme Court,"she said. Author - Dyuti Pandya