No police permission for protest against CAA: Top cop

Last Updated 18 December 2019, 19:26 IST

The protest planned against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 20 and 23 does not have the approval of police, Dr P S Harsha, Mangaluru commissioner of police, stated on Wednesday.

The protest has been planned at Nehru Maidan.

“The social media is flooded with forwards and messages claiming that Muslims, under the leadership of spiritual leaders, are planning a massive protest on December 20 and 23. The DCP (Law and Order), who is the nodal officer, has not received any application seeking permission to stage protests, which is mandatory under the Karnataka Police Act 1963,” Dr Harsha told reporters at his office on Wednesday.

The commissioner clarified that there was no blanket ban on agitations against the CAA. “We have disposed of half a dozen applications permitting activists to stage protests against the CAA,” he added.

“The sole objective for many people appeared to be exploitation of the sensitive situation. Many people in foreign countries are giving calls to attend the rally planned on December 20. Some individuals from outside the state wanted to stage a rally in Mangaluru,” he stated.

“Spiritual leaders, projected in the messages on social media, have distanced themselves from the protest. The Mangaluru Qazi also issued a clarification in a section of the media. Our appeal to spiritual leaders of the Muslim community to help maintain communal harmony in the region had received overwhelming response,” Harsha pointed out.

The police are prepared to take stringent action against people sending messages in order to disrupt law and order, he warned.

The police have already issued notices and arrested 39 activists who had damaged public property and blocked traffic without obtaining permission from the police, he added.

Prohibitory orders until Friday midnight Harsha clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) from December 18 (9 pm) to 20 (12 pm).

Harsha has appealed to people at a meeting of officials at a hall at the deputy commissioner’s office on Wednesday not to pay heed to rumours. Strict action will be taken against rumour mongers, the police commissioner has said.

DC Sindhu B Rupesh has directed officials to be in constant touch with the district administration.

SP B M Laxmiprasad, ADC Roopa and MCC Commissioner Ajith Kumar Shanady were present at the meeting.

(Published 18 December 2019, 19:03 IST)

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