Mumbai: No protests at Azad Maidan for now, say cops

Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 07:29 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

City police tell people to avoid crowded places and not join mass gatherings

A protest against CAA-NRC-NPR at Azad Maidan. File pic
A protest against CAA-NRC-NPR at Azad Maidan. File pic

Apart from deciding to welcome visitors at police stations with a 'namaste', the Mumbai police are taking steps to ensure that protests and demonstrations are not held at Azad Maidan because mass gatherings would increase the chances of contracting Coronavirus.

According to the police, people should avoid crowded places and must stay away from joining mass movements.

For the same reason, they have not been providing permission for any such gathering since March 10.

The Maharashtra Bandhkam Kamgar Federation had sought permission to stage a protest in support of their workers' demands at Azad Maidan on March 16, but the cops did not even take their application.

Secretary of Maharashtra Bandhkam Kamgar Federation, Shankar Pujari told mid-day, "We are trying to fight for the interests of the workers. We sought permission to protest in support of their demands, but the Azad Maidan police did not take our application."

A police officer said, "Keeping in mind the government advisory that asks people not to go to crowded places, we are not giving permission to stage protests because a lot of people gather at such places."

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1), Sangramsing Nishandar told mid-day, "As part of the precautionary measures being taken in the wake of Coronavirus, the city police have not been giving permission for demonstrations at Azad Maidan."

Mar 10
Day since when the police have not been giving permission for gatherings anywhere in the city

Multiple protests at Azad Maidan

According to the Mumbai Police, from Jan 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019, a total of 527 protests have taken place in Azad Maidan and from Jan 1, 2020 to Mar 9, around 207 protests have been held at the venue. The cops further said there have been 14 protests against CAA and NCR at Azad Maidan from Dec 6, 2019, to Mar 2, 2020.

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