AAP asks NGT to review order banning protests at Jantar Mantar
Aam Aadmi Party requested the National Green Tribunal to review its order which, it said, would crush the dissent the iconic venue had hosted for decades. Jantar Mantar has been used as a protest site since 1993. It hosted several agitations including Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption (IAC).
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday objected to the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order banning protests at Jantar Mantar while questioning the tribunal’s rationale blaming noise pollution for the verdict. The party requested the green tribunal to review its order which, it said, was would crush the dissent the iconic venue had hosted for decades.
“Our party came to being through agitation. We know the significance of dissent and Jantar Mantar. We are opposed to shifting of the venue for protests,” said AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey.
Jantar Mantar, which has been used as a protest site since 1993, has hosted several major agitations including Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption (IAC) which eventually led to formation of AAP. The tribunal’s order on Thursday banned protests and demonstrations at the 18th century monument with immediate effect terming it a “major source of noise pollution”. It directed authorities to shift the protesters to an alternative site at Ramlila Grounds near Ajmeri Gate.
“They say that the protests at Jantar Mantar are a source of noise pollution. The order seems contradictory as the venue is significantly less populated than Ramlila Grounds, where they want to shift it now,” Pandey said.
The party said it was conscious of environmental concerns that the tribunal has been serving, but at the same time, shifting the protest venue from Jantar Mantar was akin to quelling dissent.
“We request NGT to review the order. We also request Delhi government, Delhi Police and New Delhi Municipal Council — the implementing agencies — to ensure that the venue is not shifted even if it calls for knocking the court’s door,” he said.
In its order on Thursday, the NGT has directed NDMC to remove all makeshift structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the venue.
Earlier, senior party leader Ashutosh tweeted, “Jantar Mantar symbolises vibrant democracy. Order to close it is anti-democratic, against spirit of constitution, [and] curbs basic right of citizens.”