Bengaluru

BBMP to bar protests outside Town Hall

Mayor Gautham Kumar said that frequent protests in front of Town Hall were inconveniencing the general public as well as organisers of programmes inside the venue. He also cited traffic jams, congestion and snarls around Town Hall as reasons for this decision.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) councillors on Saturday resolved to impose a ban on protests outside the iconic Sir Puttanna Chetty Town Hall on J.C. Road. Since December last year, Town Hall has been the site of multiple protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (Act). The decision was taken through a resolution at a BBMP council meeting.

The resolution was passed towards the end of the council meeting along with other decisions. Members of the opposition alleged that it was not part of the agenda.

“We were not even aware of it. There was no discussion before this. Soon after the resolution was passed, the council was adjourned,” former mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun told The Hindu.

Nineteen resolutions were passed on Saturday, and the one banning protests was number 16 on the list.

Defending the move, Mayor Gautham Kumar said that frequent protests in front of Town Hall were causing inconvenience to the general public as well as for organisers of programmes inside Town Hall. “As a result of these protests, people were not coming forward to book the Town Hall,. This has impacted the revenue of the civic body,” he said.

He also cited traffic jams, congestion and snarls around Town Hall as reasons for this decision. “There are many important roads near Town Hall. To keep the sanctity of the place, we have decided to ban any kind of protest or demonstration or rally in front of Town Hall,” he said, adding that he had also spoken to the Police Commissioner regarding the issue.

The Mayor said that protesters can use Freedom Park or Maurya Circle, and that facilities would be made available for them. “The parking lot at Freedom Park will be completed in three months. It will have the capacity for 560 vehicles,” he added.

‘We will protest against this at Town Hall itself’

Leader of Opposition in the BBMP, Abdul Wajid, said that the resolution was passed in an undemocratic manner. He concurred with Ms. Mallikarjun’s account of the events during the council meeting.

“It was a monthly meeting for zero hour issues. We are going to take up the issue in the upcoming meeting, and will protest against it at Town Hall itself,” he said. “This is unlawful. Who are they to say that people cannot protest at a place where protests have been taking place for decades? The BJP has resorted to an undemocratic way of passing it.”

The resolution will be forwarded to the State government for approval.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:33:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bbmp-to-bar-protests-outside-town-hall/article30951977.ece

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