City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant on Thursday directed the officials to enforce the newly enacted Licensing and Regulation of Protests, Demonstrations and Protest Marches (Bengaluru city) Order, 2021 that bans protests, dharnas, etc without the organisers obtaining a licence. The new order came into force soon after the State Government issued a gazetted notification on January 10.
As per the order, “The licensing authority shall approve the number of persons for holding protest at Freedom Park, depending on type of programme, duration and available capacity at the venue.” Though the protest venue is Freedom Park, the police commissioner may designate any other suitable place in the city.
Multiple protests in a day may be allowed at Freedom Park as long as citizens and commuters are not troubled. Any violations of the order will be liable for prosecution under Karnataka Police Act and also under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC.
No tractors, trolleys, bullock-carts, cycle-rickshaws, or hand-driven carts are allowed. Protesters cannot carry weapons or inflammable substances, and are not allowed to use animals such as horses, elephants, camels, cattle etc in a rally or dharna. Prior permission is required for the use of loudspeakers.