The Delhi Police has prohibited the use of ‘mashaal’ or flaming torch in rallies, processions or any public functions in the New Friends Colony area, for two months. Police officials said that the order was issued after they received inputs that certain groups might indulge in activities that could disturb the peace or endanger life and property in the area.
The order was passed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on September 19 and will be in place for 60 days in New Friends Colony, Jamia Nagar and Okhla areas, police said.
“ACP New Friends Colony, southeast district, New Delhi do hereby make this written order prohibiting carrying of ‘mashaal’ i.e torch carrying live flames or live fire candles or live fire in any form…in processions, rallies, functions…in the entire jurisdiction of sub-division New Friends Colony, southeast district,” reads the order signed by ACP Sanjay Kumar Singh.
Any person violating the order will be booked under Section 188 (disobeying public order) of the Indian Penal Code.
“We had received inputs that certain individuals or groups might start violent protests or riots in the area. To prevent any untoward situation, we have banned the use of ‘mashaal’, commonly used by people as part of their symbolic protests,” a senior Delhi Police officer said.
Following the order, authorities at Jamia Millia Islamia have advised students and staff to not conduct any demonstrations in and around the campus for the duration. “… all students of Jamia Millia Islamia including teaching and non-teaching staff are hereby advised not to assemble in groups/march/agitation/dharna/meetings etc. in and outside the campus failing which the violators will be held responsible for action by the Delhi police,” states a notice issued by the chief proctor’s office on Monday.