Political leaders answerable for clashes during anti-CAA protests

Police considering holding all-party meetings in politically-sensitive areas

With protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) resulting in frequent clashes between sympathisers of various political parties, the police have decided to have a tight grip on political leaders who organise such events without adequate preparations to control the crowd.

Station House Officers in the politically-sensitive rural areas of Kozhikode are now considering the scope of organising all-party meetings and holding political leaders accountable for law and order issues during such protests. In one such meeting held at Valayam, political leaders were clearly told that they would be held accountable in case of aggressive behaviour or public nuisance caused by activists during protests. They were also asked to handle the leadership of such protests directly other than just leaving it to the mob participating in the demonstrations.

For the record, a few politically-sensitive areas under the Valayam police station limits had witnessed stormy scenes when anti-CAA protesters were challenged by supporters of the legislation. Activists of various youth organisations were in the forefront of such aggressive protests, which were often overlooked by parent organisations. Vanimel was one such location where youth activists locked horns with CAA supporters. Chekiyad panchayat too had witnessed similar incidents, compelling the police to take strong action.

Valayam Sub Inspector R.C. Biju said an all-party meeting was held last Friday subsequent to a directive from the District Police Chief (Kozhikode Rural). “It drew the participation of all party leaders and people’s representatives. It was the first such meeting held in the Kozhikode rural area, and similar meetings will be convened under all police station limits in the days to come,” he added.

Instructions have also been issued to local police stations to intensify night patrol and keep an eye on provocative night protests in politically-sensitive areas.

protest meetings organised in public places without obtaining prior consent will be actioned on the spot. Also, mediation by political party leaders will be sought to settle political disputes which lead to unexpected clashes.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 11:47:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/political-leaders-answerable-for-clashes-during-anti-caa-protests/article30610659.ece

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