To avoid incidents of stone throwing, Delhi Police has started clearing the venue hours of stones before Anna Hazare begins his fast on August 16.
Police said protestors pick up stones, bottles and other materials from the site and attack police. During Baba Ramdev’s protest in Ramlila Maidan, police personnel had suffered injuries after protestors started throwing stones at them.
“In the season of protests, this is the one thing we can do to avoid stone pelting. We have decided to sweep two km of the area around the protests site, hours before the protest. We will take help of other agencies for this,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity. Last week too, city’s policemen were attacked with stones by BJP protestors and injuring many of them.
“Protests are generally being held at New Delhi district or Central district where there are venues for protests. Ramlila Maidan incident was a big lesson for us where a large number of protestors armed with bricks and stones attacked police,” the officer said.
Generally sweeping at protest site is done after the protest when police claim to recover large number of stones.
“With protest by Anna Hazare’s team scheduled to start from Tuesday we have already sanitised the ground,” he added. Police has also directed its personnel, posted on duty to deal with protestors, to maintain calm and not to be violent.
“Their work is most important as despite being attacked they have to stay calm. They have been advised not to use force till the last moment. Sometimes to save themselves, our men had to take some action,” officer added.