NDMC, Delhi Police welcome NGT ban on protests at Jantar Mantar
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Police on Thursday welcomed the NGT order banning protests at Jantar Mantar, saying they will enforce it. The Delhi government, however, didn’t react.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday ordered the Delhi government, NDMC and the Delhi Police to stop all protests, public gatherings and use of loudspeakers at Jantar Mantar. However, a timeline and modalities of how the order will be implemented are yet to be fixed.
The NDMC said the ban will help them better deliver civic services in the area.
“We will remove loudspeakers and temporary structures built by protesters from there,” said Chanchal Yadav, secretary, NDMC.
Recalling the recent protest by 50,000 contractual teachers from UP, Yadav said, “We have to put in a lot of effort to restore the area after such big protests. Everything, from the green belt to road dividers were destroyed. There was open urination during the protest by the shiksha mitras from UP,” she said.
The agency deputes a team of sanitation inspectors daily since protests at Jantar Mantar take place round-the-clock. “The police grants permission for protests. Our task is limited to providing mobile toilets and ensuring cleanliness,” Yadav said.
Delhi Police chief spokesperson Dependra Pathak said they will examine the NGT order and take appropriate administrative action.
BK Singh, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi district), said no more permissions will be granted for protests at Jantar Mantar.
When asked how the police will remove those agitators/protesters who have been sitting at Jantar Mantar for months and years, the DCP said they will be removed and shifted to the alternate protest venue, as suggested by the court.
“If anybody will refuse, we will take action as per the law. Being an enforcement agency, it is our duty to implement the orders of the courts,” said Singh.
According to Delhi Police, on an average eight to ten demonstrations are held daily at Jantar Mantar. Till June 2017, 2,283 dharnas and demonstrations were held as compared to 1,921 in the same period during the year 2016.
DCP Singh said at least 100 police personnel remain deployed at Jantar Mantar even on days when no big demonstrations are organised. “During bigger protests with large gatherings, we increase our manpower by seeking additional force from paramilitary forces and other police districts,” he said.
Officials said that shifting the protest venue from Jantar Mantar will allow them to use the same manpower in other important work, including curtailing street crimes, crime detection and patrolling the streets.