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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Jallianwala Bagh protest ban revoked, but Sec 144 in force across Amritsar

Technically, no gatherings can still be organised around the Jallianwala Bagh complex as it is a part of Amritsar city.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: September 10, 2021 8:40:48 pm
The revamped memorial complex was recently opened for public by PM Narendra Modi. (Express Photo)

mWhile the Amritsar police Thursday hastily withdrew its order banning protests inside and outside the Jallianwala Bagh memorial complex, Section 144 continues to be in force across Amritsar city.

On September 8, Amritsar police had imposed Section 144 in and around the premises of Jallianwala Bagh to ban gathering of five or more people, protests, meetings, demonstrations, slogan raising purportedly against the renovation of Jallianwala Bagh.

But after controversy, a police spokesperson said: “Section 144 has been removed from Jallianwala Bagh.”

However, responding to a question, the spokesperson clarified that ban on protests and demonstrations in general under Section 144 will stay in Amritsar city.

“Section 144 is in place in Amritsar to check on protests and gatherings,” the spokesperson clarified.

It means that technically still no protest or gathering can be organised in or around the Jallianwala Bagh to oppose the renovation even now.

Sources said that Section 144 is invoked in Punjab without any specific reason, adding that since orders under this section can last only for two months, local authorities keep reissuing them to retain power to crackdown on any protest that is staged without specific permission from the administration.

The renovated Jallianwala Bagh memorial was recently reopened in a virtual function by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in last week or August.

However, ever since its opening, there has been controversy over the renovation as historians and kin of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre victims have been criticising the revamp.

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