It will not be possible to assemble and hold any gatherings at the Jallianwala Bagh or anywhere in city on the 100th anniversary of tragedy without permission from the Amritsar police. This is because of Section 144 being imposed by the police citing a threat to life and property by outfits planning rallies and protests in the city.
On Baisakhi in 1919, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer had opened fire on unarmed people at Jallianwala Bagh claiming that he had ordered a ban on public assembly in any part of city.
A press note issued by the police on Tuesday said: “Executive Magistrate-cum-Deputy Commissioner Police, Amritsar, Bhupinder Singh using his powers under Section 144 in CrPC, 1973, has ordered the ban over the assembly of five or more persons at one place for protest, rallies, meetings or raising slogans in the jurisdiction of all police stations of Amritsar police.”
The statement quoting DCP Singh said: “It has come into my notice that in Amritsar district some political, farmers and other organisations have been planning gatherings, rallies, protest and dharnas and trying to incite the emotions of common people and create fear of damage to public and private property and law and order of the city…So it is best to take the necessary steps to maintain the law and order and protect the life and property of common people. These orders will remain in imposition till June 17.”
Among the events planned in the city to mark the 100th anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, CM Amarinder Singh is expected to take part in a candle march in Amritsar on April 12. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is slated to address a gathering at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13.
Reacting to these planned events, Bhupinder Singh told The Indian Express, “These kind of meetings can be organised with permission from police, however, no assembly can be held without permission of police.”
The DCP insisted that the orders were not in bad taste. He said, “These are routine orders….These orders will not affect the movement of common people at Jallianwala Bagh. If someone is assembling with a purpose then permission will be required.”
Many organisations, who had given a call to people to assemble at Jallianwala Bagh to observe the 100th anniversary, said that the order would impact their programme.