Citizens demand withdrawal of cases against activists protesting against Sankey Road flyover plan

The residents demanded that Pratap Reddy, the city police Commissioner, withdraw the case and close it immediately

Updated - April 06, 2023 02:03 pm IST

Published - April 05, 2023 11:35 pm IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of residents protesting against the proposed Sankey Road flyover in Bengaluru in February 2023.

A file photo of residents protesting against the proposed Sankey Road flyover in Bengaluru in February 2023. | Photo Credit: SUCHITH KIDIYOOR

More than 70 civil society organisations and 500 citizens on Wednesday complained to the Police Commissioner, urging him to withdraw an FIR filed against activists and citizens for protesting against the plan for a flyover on the Sankey Road in February.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that the Sadashivanagar police have registered an FIR against 70 residents of Bengaluru. The citizens have been charged with crimes under Sections 143, 341, 283 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. These sections indicate that the charges relate to unlawful assembly, wrongful confinement, dangers or obstruction in a public way etc. It is inconceivable that a mere silent walk around a lake by the residents of a community can be interpreted as any crime, let alone such serious ones. This walk was done in support of the environment, to celebrate the life-affirming nature of trees and lakes,“ the letter stated.

The letter further stated, “The FIR is arbitrary, baseless, unfair and serves to create a chilling environment in the city known for active participation of citizens. It is a violation of our constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression, peaceful assembly and our right to life.”

The residents demanded that Pratap Reddy, the city police Commissioner, withdraw the case and close it immediately. “We request an inquiry be initiated into the abuse of law in this case. We have a right to a sustainable future. We owe it to our children to leave behind a healthy city. Actions such as silent walk harm no one, violate no laws, and in fact, work to deepen our democracy,” the letter added.

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