Mumbai

Plans for sleeping stir foiled by police officials

People gathered at Shivaji Park upset

A group of protesters who were to gather at Shivaji Park on Sunday to carry out a symbolic ‘sleeping protest’ have alleged that their plans were disrupted by the police. The police, however, have refuted these allegations.

Around 11 a.m., 60-70 people gathered at the park to protest against the government, as they believe that it is sleeping and does not care about climate change, but were shooed away. According to protesters, initially two constables came to disperse them but within a few minutes, around 20 policemen, beat marshals and police vans reached the spot.

Yash Marwah, one of the protesters, said, “The police came in and said it was a silent zone and we weren’t allowed to protest there. We informed them that we would protest silently but they they said that due to the moral code of conduct for elections, we could not protest in such areas.”

Senior police inspector Suryakant Gaikwad, Shivaji Park police, refused this and said, “We did not resist anyone as such. The people had met there to gather for joining the protest in Aarey. It was just their meeting point. Moreover, no notice of any such protest was given to us.”

Another protester, Radhika Jhaveri said, “We know that Shivaji Park is a silent zone. All we had to do was sleep silently and therefore we chose the park. But the police intervened and warned us that if we conduct any such activity, they would detain us. We were not even allowed to stand individually or exhibit our banners or placards. When we moved from there, they followed us and also started taking our photos and videos.”

The protesters also alleged that the police tried to detain a woman when she was speaking to the media. Harshad Tambe, another protester said, “We were even not allowed to take photos with our banners or placards displayed. Media persons reached there within some time and when a lady was speaking to the media, the lady police officers tried to detain her by saying that she is not allowed to speak to media.” The protesters said that they will attempt the protest again very soon.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:47:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/plans-for-sleeping-stir-foiled-by-police-officials/article29484605.ece

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