Delhi govt bans protests, dharnas near Kejriwal's residence

New Delhi: The Central district administration on Wednesday imposed a ban on public meetings, protests and shouting of slogans near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence for next 30 days in view of "serious and law and order problems".

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Screengrab from his YouTube video

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Screengrab from his YouTube video

Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) BK Jha issued an order under Section 144 of the CrPC, restricting demonstrations,
making of speech by any political party outside Kejriwal's residence on Flag Staff Road in North Delhi's Civil Line area.

Following the order, the Delhi BJP condemned the ban, saying "this must be the first time" since Police Commissioner system came to the national capital that an SDM of Delhi government has imposed such a ban.

"It has been reported that various political parties and pressure groups may hold protests, demonstrations, dharnas, processions etc on political and others issues in front, near or around the residence of the chief minister, GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi), which may create serious law & order problems..."

These protests need to be prohibited in order to "prevent public nuisance, obstruction to traffic and persons, danger to inhuman lives or safety and public property," the SDM (Civil Lines) said in his order.

He said in August, there are many festivals such as Independence Day, Raksha Bandhan, Parsi New Year, Janamasthmi
and people in general use to visit the chief minister and officers' residence in festive season.

"Therefore, it is apprehended that any demonstration, protests or dharna etc will create public nuisance and serious law and order problems. It will also cause obstruction to the vehicular traffic movement, danger to human lives and property," the order stated.

Condemning the move, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay in a statement said, "It seems the ban has been imposed
through SDM as autocrat Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is in no mood to tolerate any democratic demonstration or protest against him."

Upadhyay also said it was "really shocking" that such an "anti democratic step" of banning demonstrations has been
taken by a government whose head once staked his government to demonstrate & obstruct the nation's republic day function.

Updated Date: Aug 03, 2016 20:56 PM

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