Opposition parties geared up to challenge the city corporation’s resolution to ban protests outside Town Hall.
By Arti Peethambaran
Bengaluru: Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) opposed the ban on holding protests outside Town Hall on March 3. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had passed a resolution on March 2 citing revenue loss.
The Opposition Party leader, Abdul Wajid said, “How can the Mayor and the BBMP Commissioner take such decisions without anyone’s consent? Our right for the freedom of speech and expression has been challenged. If they do not change their decision to remove the ban, we will protest in the entire city.”
Town hall is a usual venue for protests in the city. The new resolution stops any such protest. After the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed, there has been an increase in the number of protests held outside Town Hall. Since two months now, the locals and activists have been protesting for several reasons including the amended Citizenship Act, and for showing solidarity with the Jamia students.
Head of Assam Students Society, an organization which has been participating in protests outside Town Hall, Hirak Kakati said, “If the reason for passing the resolution is traffic, then it is fine, but that won’t stop us from exercising our right to freedom of speech and expression. We have other places to protest, raising our voices matters not the place.”
BH Anil Kumar, BBMP Commissioner said that the Mayor and the BBMP Commissioner passed the resolution to ban protests on his behalf. He added, “There are a lot of hospitals in the area. Every time a protest happens outside Town Hall, it blocks traffic.” He further said that there is also a revenue loss that the corporation is facing as not many people are willing to rent the Town Hall building for functions owing to the protests.
The legality of the Suo Moto resolution is under the consideration of a legal cell.