21 February 2020
New Delhi: Former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah on Friday clarified that his role in the parleys with the Shaheen Bagh protestors is only limited to assisting "fruitful talks" and that he is not one of the interlocutors appointed by the Supreme Court.
Speaking exclusively to IANS, Habibullah said: "The orders of the Supreme Court in this regard are very clear... I am only assisting the two SC appointed interlocutors to facilitate fruitful talks with the protestors of Shaheen Bagh. I am not one of the interlocutors."
The former bureaucrat blamed the media for creating the confusion. "It was a request by the Supreme Court to my lawyers that I go and talk to the protestors so that they are ready to speak to the interlocutors. However, the media created a big confusion amongst the people and created a narrative that I am one of the interlocutors," Habibullah said.
"The petition that I along with others have preferred before the apex court is not concerned about the CAA or NRC but is about the problems which people are facing because of the closure of the road.
"Right to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right but what follows is the right of others too. You don't have the right violate someone else's fundamental rights and this is what I said to the protestors too," he said.
The Supreme Court on Monday appointed senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran as interlocutors to talk to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
Habibullah was also asked by the apex court to talk to the protestors in order to convince them to speak to the interlocutors.