City Police Commissioner N.K. Senthamarai Kannan said that the political parties or other organisations would have every right to agitate, but no agitations would be allowed to take place at the expense of the rights of other people to move freely.

“The agitators cannot simply block the road for a long time or disturb the free movement of people through passages in the pretext of demonstrations,” he told The Hindu after holding a meeting with representatives of various political parties who wanted the city police to ease the restrictions imposed on agitations, on Thursday.

Mr. Kannan said that the parties were also briefed about the regulations imposed on the erection of party flags in public places.

“We have told them that it will be a strict ‘no’ to erection of party flags on roundabouts and along the dividers in the centre of the roads.

On the request of the parties, we have eased the restrictions on erection of flags beyond 100 metres from the venue of public meetings,” he added.

He said that political parties should be responsible for the safety of the hoardings erected at public places.

Earlier on the day, a meeting of all political parties convened by Communist Party of India (Marxist) had appealed to the city police to reconsider the restrictions imposed on various types of agitations and putting up hoardings within the city limits.

K. Kamaraj, district secretary of CPI (M), said that the checks imposed on the agitations such as permission should be taken at least five days in advance were not practical in all circumstances.

“In normal cases, these restrictions will be fine. But, during emergencies people might have to resort to agitations to react against repeated apathy by the officials in addressing the issues pertaining to basic amenities,” he said.

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