Enact Strictest Law To Stop Blocking Of Roads And Rails

“I am always ready to bear Allah's full fury but under no circumstances will I ever block road for offering namaz. There was no space in mosque or anywhere else except on road! Offering namaz on road is a crime for me which I will never commit under any circumstances! Not for a second will I ever do anything that disturbs others and forces them to wait for me to leave road so that they can leave for their own work!”

- Sageer Khan my best friend who in 1993-94 said this to me when I asked him why he was so upset while returning from a mosque and why can’t he offer namaz on road just like others

It merits no reiteration that no matter how sacred the cause may be, there can be no justification for blocking roads or blocking of rails under any circumstances. To exercise one’s own fundamental right to protest peacefully does not give anyone the unfettered right to block roads and rails under any circumstances thereby causing maximum inconvenience to others. It is high time and now a law needs to be enacted which would make it obligatory that under no circumstances can anyone be allowed to block roads or block any rail route or any route which would cause maximum inconvenience to others! Law should not just be enacted but also implemented without any discrimination on all Indians!

What had happened in Shaheen Bagh is disgraceful and cannot be justified under any circumstances! For more than 100 days, the route connecting Delhi and Noida had been blocked by protesters from Shaheen Bagh who were seeking the removal of Citizenship Amendment Act as they feel that it is discriminatory and are determined that this would not be allowed under any circumstances! Why had Centre allowed this to happen at the first place?

Why PM Narendra Modi along with UP CM Yogi Adityanath were busy launching scathing attacks on the Opposition for planning the blockade of Shaheen Bagh but were themselves doing nothing to clear the blockade? One can understand that Yogi is the CM of UP where he has ensured no road is blocked or rail track is blocked and not of Delhi or Rajasthan or Punjab but Narendra Modi is the PM of India and when he was seeing that Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab governments were doing nothing to clear the blockade then why did he himself not do anything to clear it at all? Blockade of roads, national highways, rail routes etc cannot be justified under any circumstances but it is becoming a fashion now!

It is most shameful , most shocking and most disgraceful that nothing was done to stop lawless protesters from entering Delhi in tractors to participate in tractor rally and even though intelligence agencies and NIA had warned of the Khalistani elements hijacking the limelight of 26 January Republic Day parade yet Delhi Police gave the green signal which can never be justified. What was the outcome? More than 300 policemen were grievously injured and even women police personnel were brutally beaten and vehicles were smashed and even ordinary persons were not spared by the goons, hoodlums who were in tractors and who even tried to run over policemen and even Red Fort was not spared and it was desecrated and Indian flag was thrown aside and flags of Khalsa Panth and farmers union flag were waved! This is what happens when too much of pandering happens and road is allowed to be blocked so easily and laws passed by Centre are strangely stayed by Centre which compels Justice Deepak Gupta of Supreme Court to raise serious question mark over the decision as making laws is the remit of Centre and not judiciary. Why Supreme Court forms Committees for those who block roads and rail tracks and why their demands are promptly looked into but those like lawyers of West UP who are agitating for a high court benches since more than 60 years and have even gone on 6 months strike and 3 months strike and strike every Saturday are just ignored even though this issue directly concerns the judiciary? Why Justice Jaswant Singh Commission recommendations headed by former Supreme Court Judge to create 3 High Court Benches in undivided UP not implemented even though its recommendations to create Benches in other states were promptly implemented? Supreme Court has a lot of explaining to do on this!

What trend has PM Modi set by not doing anything on this till now? Why will others also not follow the same route as we saw first in Shaheen Bagh and then in Rajasthan, Punjab and now again in Delhi? Will it not lead our country on the surest path to anarchy? To whom goes the real credit? To Narendra Modi as he is the PM of India and not Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi!

Should we be proud of it? Should we clap when PM Modi says in election rallies that the real faces of many are getting exposed for supporting rail and road blockades but himself doing nothing to clear the road thereby giving a free unfettered licence to anti social elements and lumpen elements to have the last laugh? Why has Centre not acted at all? How can anyone hold our people to ransom by blocking roads and rail tracks and vowing to ensure Delhi would be blocked for 6 months to an year?

Why even our Courts keep watching all this like a mute spectator? Why Courts and especially our Supreme Court which is the highest court of the land was not ready to direct the clearing of road forthwith as it is the common man who suffers the maximum inconvenience due to such blockades and in Delhi we saw how it culminated in worst riots after Shaheen Bagh blockades? Why don’t the long term interests of the people at large placed on the highest priority even by Centre who is watching everything and making it a part of mud-slinging exercise with Opposition party leaders? 

To hell with CAA and NRC if Centre is determined to allow anti-India slogans right in our national capital itself as we saw first in Shaheen Bagh and now again during farmers bill agitation in which Khalistani slogans were raised which under no circumstances can ever be justified! To hell with CAA and NRC if Centre fails to enact a law whereby those who chant anti-India slogans are just booked for sedition and not expelled from India permanently and their citizenship rights are not promptly terminated! To hell with CAA and NRC if Centre allows “rogues and scoundrels” to occupy roads and public places as we saw first in Shaheen Bagh then in Rajasthan and Punjab and now again in Delhi just to safeguard their own political interests and be fully satisfied by just indulging in futile “blame game exercise” as we have seen this happen time and again right in front of our eyes!

To hell with CAA and NRC if those who are illegal immigrants are expelled from India even though they love India to the fullest but those Indians who have all valid documents proving Indian citizenship are given unlimited freedom to abuse India openly, vandalise public property and block rail and road tracks for months together! To hell with CAA and NRC if Centre feels proud to allow few bunch of people who are citizens of India by birth to openly occupy public roads and public places as we are seeing time and again after the Shaheen Bagh protests and take no action against them and be happy with just criticizing Opposition parties and apportioning all blame on them alone! To hell with CAA and NRC if Centre justifies this in the name of “right to dissent” and takes no action to evict them from illegally occupying public roads and rail tracks due to which crores of rupees are wasted and honest taxpayers have to bear the maximum brunt! Why police force was used against our brave ex-servicemen in removing them violently when they were protesting peacefully demanding “One Rank One Pension” in totality as it was only officers with rank of Major General and above who were getting full benefits and not the lower ranks but now why he has no guts to act against those who are not only blocking roads to cause maximum inconvenience to public but also invading Red Fort, running tractors over police vehicles, bus and what not and stopping media from entering there and placing women and children ahead so that no action is taken? Why different laws for ex servicemen and for those residing in Shaheen Bagh or for Gujjars in Rajasthan or for farmers in Punjab who blocked rail tracks for months and now vow to block all routes to Delhi? This is certainly most befuddling! It is a ghoulish mockery of rule of law! 

Why cheap politics is being played on this? Why are forces not ensuring that no person is allowed to block roads, rail tracks and public places as they like as per their own whims and fancies? Why Centre is not giving a free hand to forces so that illegal usurpation of roads, rail tracks and public places is removed at the earliest? Why Centre is allowing this worst national insult?

Why all parties in India very strongly believe that under no circumstances should citizenship be terminated of those Indians who behave like soldiers of Pakistan and vow to fulfill their agenda by burning Indian flags, abusing our Constitution and chanting slogans of “Azadi” and “Bharat tere tukde-tukde karenge hum and block roads and rails? Why it took many decades to end ‘Most Favoured Nation’ to Pakistan which India most stupidly and most shamelessly conferred on it unilaterally in 1990s? Why we don’t follow Justice Markandey Katju who says that, “Pakistan and Bangladesh are fake countries and till 1947 integral part of India and when father Jawaharlal Nehru created one fake country called Pakistan then daughter Indira Gandhi stepped ahead and created another fake country called Bangladesh? But I am sure that in next few decades they both will be merged with India.”

What a complete shameless mockery is being made of “rule of law” in our country! How can lawless people be allowed to hold the traffic of our country to ransom for more than 100 days? Why no action had been taken by Centre on this for such a long time?

When CAA does not take the citizenship of any Indian then why so much of brouhaha was made over it? Why can’t more tolerance be demonstrated on it? Who is behind all this also needs to be investigated now! Similarly why Centre allows blockade of rail and road tracks? Do Indians know only of “fundamental rights” and never remember “fundamental duties”? Did late Mrs Indira Gandhi ever favour blocking of roads and rail tracks by inserting fundamental duties in our Constitution by 42nd Amendment or was she clear that this is being done for just “namesake” only? It is high time and fundamental duties must now be made mandatory on citizens of India!

Why vote bank politics is being played and why our national interests are being gravely compromised on this? Why no political party is ready to make sure that public roads and rail tracks are never occupied under any circumstances by anyone on any ground whatsoever? Will they cite the name of some “former Supreme Court Justice” or “Chief Justice” to justify this “utter nonsense and disloyalty” to the nation that you block roads and rail tracks without caring for the consequences? Where is our nation heading for?

Why mobocracy was allowed to be ruled in Shaheen Bagh, rail tracks in Rajasthan and Punjab and now again on borders of Delhi from different states? Is this the real rule of law? Which self-respecting nation will tolerate this?

Why Centre is most astonishingly not doing anything on this and is happy by just blaming everything on Delhi Government where it is the Lieutenant Governor who calls the shot and who too dismally fails in doing anything decisive on it? Why even Supreme Court had failed to act decisively on this by suo motu taking cognizance and calling for immediately lifting the siege of roads and public places in Shaheen Bagh and then for months of rail blockade in Punjab and Rajasthan and now again on borders of Delhi due to which the people there are suffering immeasurably?

I really fail to understand that what precedent is being set ever since PM Narendra Modi did not take any action in Shaheen Bagh even though he swiftly ordered action against peaceful protests by soldiers for OROP and made them evict the place where they were protesting? Why no swift action we saw in Shaheen Bagh and in other places which culminated in worst riots that left many dead and severely damaged our reputation in world? What precedent is being set?

Will this not encourage others also to do similarly? Why is Pakistan being allowed to set India’s agenda through its proxies in India? Why the rights of law abiding citizens is being taken for a ride by political parties and their supporters?

I can never support this under any circumstances no matter who does it! Even if Jats to which community I belong block roads and highways demanding something I will never support it under any circumstances! If Jats boycott me or even expel me for not supporting them then so be it but I can never be a party to anything which hurts our national interests under any circumstances by blocking of rails and roads! This can never be good in protecting the long term national interests of our country under any circumstances which are paramount and stands above everything else including me!

By any reckoning, Centre has certainly not covered itself with glory by not doing anything to ensure that the common man does not suffer because of a few lumpen people in Shaheen Bagh and then again on Punjab and Rajasthan rail tracks and now again on borders of Delhi! This is no way to protest that you block roads and rail tracks and encourage your followers abroad and at the protest site to raise anti-national slogans! Should we be very proud and excited about it? Can this be justified in the name of dissent?

No doubt, Centre has demonstrated quite explicitly that it is just interested only in expelling illegal immigrants even if they profess loyalty to nation as they don’t have valid documents but those Indians who have all documents are free to chant anti-India slogans, attack Red Fort on Republic Day, beat our policemen who are requesting them with folded hands not to indulge in violence and chalk out plans to divide India as long as they feel like as we are seeing right now and chant anti-India slogans over which there is a huge national outrage as anti national slogans are unacceptable under any circumstances and even eminent legal luminary and senior Apex Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi voiced his utmost concern on the repeated chanting of anti-national slogans and this is certainly not a good news for Centre led by PM Narendra Modi himself who is not doing anything to end this impasse! Centre had watched shamelessly in silence on what was happening in Shaheen Bagh and yet did absolutely nothing to stop it! Most disgusting! Same we saw in Punjab and Rajasthan and now again during protests over farmers bill over which even Manjinder Singh Bitta voiced his fuming anger while speaking in a discussion in a news channel and his anger stands fully justified!

On a departing note, it must be said unequivocally that Centre is to be squarely blamed for allowing things to turn for the worse in Shaheen Bagh and Congress is to be blamed for doing nothing to remove those who blocked rail tracks in Punjab and Rajasthan! Protest is a fundamental right of every Indian but this cannot include right to abuse India and vowing to break India to pieces and blocking roads, rail routes etc! Strictest action must be taken promptly against anyone who blocks roads, rail routes and if a law is needed to do this, it must be done right now but we see nothing happening with even Supreme Court watching everything quietly even though it has categorically said in Shaheen Bagh case that roads cannot be blocked! This is the real tragedy! Those foreign powers who blindly hate India are organizing blockade of road and rail tracks by foreign funding and yet even Centre also watches everything in eerie silence what to say for erring State Governments who appear complicit! How can all this be just glossed over by Supreme Court which is our “sentinel on the qui vive”? How can Supreme Court grant stay on the plea of those who themselves block roads and don’t themselves come with clean hands? Most baffling indeed!

What happened on 72nd Republic Day is all due to unfettered freedom given to farmers to openly say that they would wave their flag inside Red Fort yet everything was taken so lightly that today we stand discredited in front of the entire world and our more than 300 policemen have suffered many serious injuries and some are in ICU as the rioters had many sharp swords and what not with them! It is high time and Centre must now conduct furious surgical strikes on such road and rail track blockers also and not shamelessly like a beggar keep requesting them for talks and allowing them to continue blocking roads as people in general are now most agitated which can have far reaching adverse consequences if not dealt in time! Let’s fervently hope also! 

To conclude, only this alone can revive the shattered faith of the people for the ruling dispensation and this is what best suits our national interests also in the longer run! Every Indian was shocked to see open desecration of Red Fort and Rakesh Tikait who is himself a farmer leader said that, “Why didn’t police shoot down those who were insulting India’s national flag and planting their own flag?” Rakesh Tikait himself has been charged now of late by the police as he also exhorted farmers to march and his provocative statements we all have heard yet police took no action promptly and this lackadaisical approach of police, Centre and other security agencies culminated in the worst 72nd Republic Day which will always be a national shame as rioters, hoodlums, vandalisers and antisocial elements had the free run to do what they liked! How can this happen? But it has happened once again under PM Narendra Modi’s dynamic leadership! Let’s see what happens next? 

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh