Supreme Court on Shaheen Bagh protests: Occupying public places to express dissent not acceptable

The Supreme Court on Wednesday in its verdict on the petitions against the anti-citizenship law protests at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh said that ‘protests like these are not acceptable’.

The verdict came on the pleas against the anti-CAA protests which had led to blocking of a road in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi last December. “Democracy and dissent go hand in hand. We have to make it clear that public places cannot be occupied indefinitely whether in Shaheen Bagh or elsewhere. These sort of protests are not acceptable and administration cannot wait for orders from the court to clear the protest sites,” said the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice S K Kaul.

A massive wave of protests had swept the nation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which enabled citizenship for non-Muslims who escaped religious persecution and entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 2015.

Shaheen Bagh in Delhi had emerged as the epicentre of protests, where the protesters sat for months against the CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens.