Max 1 day, 5000 protesters: Delhi Police likely to make recommendations for Jantar Mantar protest

The Delhi Police is likely to recommend capping the duration of protest at the Jantar Mantar at maximum one day and limit the number of protestors at 5,000 after the Supreme Court revoked the ban on holding rallies and dharnas at the iconic site.

A senior police officer said that with the Jantar Mantar being redesignated as a site for holding protests, their job of containing protests will become easier.

“After the National Green Tribunal order banning all protests and dharnas around Jantar Mantar last year, protesters wanting to get their plea would gather anywhere, thereby affecting law and order. But with the top court lifting the ban on rallies at the Jantar Mantar, our job of monitoring the situation would become easier,” he added.

Before the NGT ban, the Jantar Mantar was like a home to many protesters.

After the NGT order in October last year, police and civic body officials demolished tents and makeshift structures set up by ex-servicemen protesting at the Jantar Mantar, demanding implementation of the One-Rank-One-Pension scheme.

The former servicemen had been protesting there for more than two years.

“We will recommend that the duration of the protests should be restricted to a few hours or maximum to a day. They should not stay on for years as was in the case of the OROP protesters. We used to receive a lot of complaints from the residents of the area citing inconvenience,” he added.

With protests happening for a stipulated time, the police will be able to manage them better.

“One cannot predict the actions of protesters who are staying for a long duration, like in the case of Tamil Nadu farmers who were protesting at the Jantar Mantar for loan-waiver. They would come up with unique means of getting their voices heard, thereby affecting the law and order in the area,” he added.

If the duration is fixed, the police will find it easier to monitor their actions and also prepare themselves accordingly.

The Jantar Mantar can accommodate a maximum crowd of 5,000, and if the number exceeds it, traffic comes to a standstill in Lutyens’ Delhi.

“The recommendations will also include putting a cap on the number of protesters to 5,000 so that traffic is not affected in the area,” the officer added.

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