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Worried NDMC rehearsed 13-sec drill to paste riot memorial notice

Pasting a notice on a structure considered illegal by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) proved to be a daunting task for the civic body.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi |
June 15, 2013 1:31:00 am

Pasting a notice on a structure considered illegal by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) proved to be a daunting task for the civic body.

The notice had to be pasted at the site where the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) proposed to build a memorial to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. But NDMC officials were scared of stirring a row with the guards at the site inside Gurdwara Rakabganj. At the same time,they felt it would be unwise to take police cover before entering the gurdwara to paste a warning,asking the DSGMC not to build without permission.

After long and detailed deliberations,senior officials of the NDMC came up with an ingenious plan. A team of four members were selected to paste the notice. These men were then made to practice how the job could be done in the least possible time and without any friction with the guards.

An NDMC official said he,along with a driver and two staff members,rehearsed the whole procedure – of running to the structure,quickly pasting the notice,clicking a photograph for proof and then sprinting back to an already moving car to avoid any clash – for hours at a stretch.

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“It sounds funny now,but then,we were worried of the likely consequences. So we rehearsed. A staffer would hold the notice which would already have glue on it. Another would carry the day’s newspaper to provide proof that the notice was pasted on that date. The driver and I would wait in the car and keep the engine running. After pasting the notice and taking a photograph,the other two would sprint back and jump into the car. With rigorous practice,we managed to pull off the entire exercise in 13 seconds,” the official said.

The officials were worried that the DSGMC had probably got a whiff of their plan to slap a notice. “So they had deployed guards at the site. But it was all too sudden for them,so we managed to pull it off,” the official said.

NDMC had planned to put up another notice –— one that ordered stoppage of construction being done without its approval — in a similar manner.

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But an official said when a staffer carried out a reconnaissance of the gurdwara,he found guards with swords manning the area. Petrified,the NDMC abandoned their sprint-paste-escape plan and simply posted the notice to the DSGMC.

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First published on: 15-06-2013 at 01:31:00 am

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