Exit Hegde and Sadhna, enter Habibullah; rift or strategy?

New Delhi, Feb 19, 2020-

Just minutes after two of the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors left the Shaheen Bagh protest site, the third member of the team, former Chief Information Commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah reached the site with an entourage of advocates.

The move left media and protesters wondering if there was a rift between the mediators, or a conscious strategy to both listen to, and guide the protesters.

The Supreme Court on Monday had appointed a team of three interlocutors to be led by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde to talk to the Shaheen Bagh protesters in connection with shifting the protest venue, and file a report in the court.

Former CIC, Habibullah was part of this team along with senior lawyers Sadhna Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde.

However in the first visit to the site on Wednesday, Habibullah did not accompany the two lawyers, leaving protesters wondering about reasons for his absence.

“Where is our third advocate… where is Habibullah sahab,” protesters were seen asking Hegde and Ramachandran as the two tried to address the gathering.

But minutes after the two left the site, promising to return on Thursday, Habibullah reached protest site with advocates, including Mehmood Paracha.  (Agency)

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