Is making a protest zone out of bound for protestors a good idea, unless you have specific intel that the men/women assembling are terrorists with a plan?
Shantanu Datta | January 21, 2014
It was just after 9 pm on a Monday, a time Arnab Goswami must have had just welcomed his viewers to The Newshour – to another bout of controlled anarchy. The Central Secretariat station of Delhi Metro was abuzz – people going home from work. No one obviously wanted to walk out of the station at that hour. After all, it’s all government offices outside.
Or, wait, there were some. The five cops standing at one end said “order hai; upar se”. The five cops at the other end repeated after a couple of minutes it took to walk to the other end.
A walk from Patel Chowk, the next station on the return journey, to Rail Bhavan, where Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders were on a sit-in protest, seeking suspension of a few police officials pending inquiry against them, elicited the same response at multiple points. Against the barricades this time; rather, these times. It was nearly 10, and many people waiting outside the barricades had begun, or were planning to begin, walking back to the nearest bus stop or the Metro station. The cops, hundreds of them, including rapid action force (RAF) men in riot gear, like their counterparts, however, were not ready to let people in – not even in ones or twos, let alone five or more, which section 144 of CrPC bars.
It was the same during last winter, when the capital was protesting the gangrape, assault and, subsequently, murder of a 23-year-old in Delhi: blocking roads and Metro (the easiest way to commute to Lutyens’ Delhi), assembling excessive force for prevent what many would have presumed was a mini-mutiny waiting to happen, seeing them wear off over a course of time and then charging at provocation (the nature of it is always debatable).
What happened on Tuesday afternoon at and near the protest site was almost predictable, then: provocation, followed by lathi-charge. It is always amusing how the authorities read the script wrong – each and every time. The more you frustrate, literally taunt, people from getting to their destination – be it a protest, agitation or simply their office home or attend to some other chore – the more you inadvertently provoke them to provoke the cops, by then literally dog-tired, having been posted there for hours. And the more the cops are provoked, the bigger the chances that they would let their canes walk the walk and talk the talk.
Shinde got it wrong near the same spot nearly a year ago. He got the script wrong again. What he, and Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi, forgot it that policing is better left as a noun, and too much of it as a verb is best left for a police state.
BJP is all set to retain Gujarat, indicated one exit poll. Another exit poll, however, showed a tough fight in at least one region. Aaj Tak exit poll showed that BJP will win 99 – 113 seats, getting a majority in the 182 member assembly. The Congress will get 68 – 82 seats, falli
Goa shipyard Limited (GSL) has delivered the second fuel barge to Indian Navy on December 2, 33 days ahead of contractual delivery schedule, and recently got inducted into the Navy. Navy was in the need of self-propelled 1000Ton fuel barges, with a view to fuel big ships like INS Vikramadity
Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre has assured Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) that work load for its Nashik unit will continue to flow even after Su-MKI manufacturing and production activities conclude in the next few years. “HAL has the world class facilities and giv
Naval submarine INS Kalvari was dedicated to the nation by prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in Mumbai. INS Kalvari is a diesel-electric attack submarine built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd for the Indian Navy. As per the plan, five more such submarines would be inducted into
People queued up since early morning to cast their ballot to decide the political fate of 851 candidates in the second and final phase of the bitterly fought Gujarat assembly elections. The votes in all the 182 seats will be counted on December 18. Over 22 million people are eligible to cast
Had the situation not been so desperate, then the AAP government’s proposal to sprinkle water from helicopters would have been considered hare-brained. But, a more practical solution to tackling air pollution may well be around the corner and it lies in the success of a pilot project in Iceland.