The Amritsar Police have imposed Section 144 of the CrPC – prohibiting the assembly of five or more people without permission – in the city ahead of the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, reported The Indian Express. On April 13, 1919, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer had opened fire on unarmed people at Jallianwala Bagh. While General Dyer said 379 people were killed, the Indian National Congress had pegged the toll at over 1,000.
The police said they have issued the order apprehending a threat to life and property by outfits planning rallies and protests across the city. “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,” the deputy commissioner of police said in the order issued on Tuesday. “So it is best to take the necessary steps to maintain the law and order and protect the life and property of common people.” The order will be in force till June 17.
Several events are lined up to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragedy. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is expected to take part in a candle march in Amritsar on April 12 while Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is scheduled to address a gathering at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13.
“These kind of meetings can be organised with permission from police, however, no assembly can be held without permission of police,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Bhupinder Singh told The Indian Express. “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.”