Priyanka tweets attack over Sec 144 in Varanasi on 359 days. PM is her target
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 authorises the executive magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area.
Hours after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, the district administration confirmed that Section 144 of CrPC remained imposed for 350 days (out of 365 days) in 2019 in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi.
“Yes, the city remained under Section 144 CrPC for about 350 days in 2019 for various events and incidents,” a senior administrative official told HT.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 authorises the executive magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such ‘unlawful assembly’ can be booked for engaging in rioting. Generally prohibiting public gathering, it is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger from an event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property.
Priyanka had on Thursday tweeted, “On 359 out of 365 days in the year 2019, Section 144 was imposed in Varanasi town of the PM’s own constituency and he has the gall to say that people have nothing to fear?”
An administrative official said Section 144 was in place first due to general election held this year.
“Election schedule was announced last year in March. Soon after that model code of conduct became effective and with that Section 144 also became effective in the district. Model code of conduct ended after the formation of government at the centre in May and Section 144 was lifted,” said an official.
The officer said that Section 144 was implemented in the district again as a preventive measure during other events. It was enforced again in the last week of October as a preventive measure before the announcement of the verdict on Ayodhya matter.
“In all, Section 144 remained effective in the district for about 350 days,” said additional district magistrate (city) Vinay Singh.