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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Will Delhiites miss Ramlila this year?

Karan Choudhury , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 02, 2009
First Published: 00:11 IST(2/9/2009) | Last Updated: 00:12 IST(2/9/2009)
For the first time in hundred of years Delhiites might not be able to go to Ramlila performance, thanks to the tussle between Ramlila organisers and the Delhi Police.

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Delhi holds as many as 850 Ramlilas across the city, including the oldest one on the Ramlila Grounds outside the Red Fort, which was started in times of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.

The organisers are angry over the application form for granting performance licence. They have now threatened that there won't will any performance this year. Ramlila performances in the city begin from September 17-18.

“If the Delhi Police do not agree to our demands, we will take the matter to the streets. If there is absolutely no solution, there won’t be a single Ramlila performance in the city this year,” said Arjun Kumar, general secretary of Shri Ram Leela Mahasangh.

According to the organisers, the new licence form demands a lot of papers to be produced, which they say isn’t feasible in such a short time.

Also, the 10:00 p.m. Public Address System deadline is a major bone of contention for the organisers.

Senior BJP Leader and former Delhi MLA Vijay Jolly in a letter to Home Minister P. Chidambaram and minister of state for Home Ajay Maken has demanded for relaxing rules for staging Ramlilas in Delhi and relaxing the deadline till 12:00 midnight.

Kumar said, “We have met the Chief Minister regarding the deadline. We want the deadline to be extended till midnight.” Apart from that the issue of the application form also remains an issue.

“Earlier all an organising committee had to do was visit the area DCP to get the licence. But now we have to first submit forms and wait for the licence. They are asking for so many no objection certificates that it will be difficult for us to furnish them in the given time,” he added.

Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said, “We will provide licence to anyone who follows all the guidelines.”

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