New Delhi: People sitting on peaceful protests can’t be termed as traitors or anti-nationals, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court ruled allowing a few protesters to hold a peaceful agitation in Beed district. Central Maharashtra’s Beed, Nanded and Parbhani districts witnessed violent protests in December last year where stones were pelted. “We are fortunate that most people of this country still believe in non-violence,” the division bench of Justices TV Nalavade and MG Sewlikar noted hearing a petition filed by one Iftekhar Shaikh challenging a January 31, 2020 order passed by a magistrate and a January 21, 2020 order of the police refusing them permission to sit on an indefinite protest at Old Idgah Maidan in Majalgaon in Beed district against the CAA.

“This court wants to express that such persons cannot be called as traitors, anti-nationals only because they want to oppose one law,” the order said.

“We must keep in mind we are a democratic republic country and our Constitution has given us the rule of law and not the rule of the majority. When such act (CAA) is made, some people may be of a particular religion like Muslims may feel that it is against their interest and such an act needs to be opposed,” it said.

“In the British period, our ancestors fought for freedom and also for human rights, and due to the philosophy behind the agitations, we created our Constitution. It can be said that it is unfortunate but the people are required to agitate against their own government now but only on that ground the agitation cannot be suppressed,” it added.

The duty of the government to approach such persons, have talks with them and try to convince them, the judgment noted.

Beed has been the epicentre of anti-CAA protests in Maharashtra. The Ghatnandur village panchayat gram sabha has passed a resolution against the CAA on February 12.

(With PTI Inputs)