A day after one of the morning walkers of Kamatibaug began a 67-hour fast against the Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s ongoing construction of the proposed Butterfly Park in the premises of the garden, the city police on Sunday, cancelled the permission extended to the fast and evicted protesters after VMC raised “objection” before the police.
On Sunday evening, about 30 hours after Vijay Wadhwani of the Kamatibaug Bachao group began his hunger strike, officers of the Sayajingunj police station served a notice upon the protesting residents stating that the police permission for the protest had been cancelled for lack of “compliance”. The notice served by the police stated that the residents had “failed to seek an NOC from the VMC for the protest” and so the police permission was taken back.
Aghast, the residents, refused to move from the spot demanding an explanation from the police. Wadhwani, who was accompanied by other morning walkers for the protest fast said, “It is absurd that the police are asking us to seek an NOC from the authority against whom we are protesting in the first place. The VMC has been denying us any replies and refusing to relent, because of which we are on a protest against it. A garden is a public place and why should the VMC has objection to our protest”. Wadhwani said that the VMC had pressed the police to evict morning walkers as it was “afraid” that more citizens would join the agitation. When the morning walkers refused to move from the spot, officers physically moved the protesters by force.
City Police Commissioner E Radhakrishna said that VMC sent its objection to the police citing obstruction to traffic. Radhakrishna said, “As per the rule, any protest can be held by seeking an NOC from the person or authority to whom the premises belongs. A protest cannot go on without end. Today, the VMC objected to the protest stating that it was obstructing the movement into the garden and causing traffic problems. We examined VMC’s objection and accepted it as it was true. Moreover, the protesters have also had their share of time to demonstrate and we asked them to vacate the spot.”