The police commissioner of Ahmedabad city in Gujarat has prohibited singing, playing instruments and mimicry, among other things, in public from May 7 to May 21, saying these acts may result in “toppling the state” or violate security.

The notification on the matter, dated May 2, was issued under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the power vested in the commissioner by the Gujarat Police Act. According to it, people cannot carry firearms, swords, stones, Rampuri knives longer than six inces, sticks, batons, dagger, explosives and stones. It also prohibits people from shouting, carrying “mashals [torchlights]”, showing or carrying effigies.

However Police Commissioner AK Singh downplayed the list of activities banned by his department, telling The Indian Express that it is a regular exercise that should strictly be viewed in the proper context.

“It is a range of prohibitions that are done more or less on a regular basis,” Singh said. “Even today, that is May 2, the same prohibitory orders continue and after every 15 days, we have to issue fresh notification. This allows us to control activities in public domain in the nature of any agitation or protest.”

He clarified that the order would not hamper the “normal fabric” of life.