Mangaluru: The district administration held a meeting of NGO’s, Student bodies, religious heads and political parties to make the district Bandh free, at the DC office here, on January 8.
Speaking on this occasion, DC Ibrahim said that Mangaluru was a peace loving city, however the peace in the city was being disrupted due to the bandhs called frequently by various organizations over trivial issues. “To demonstrate and protest is the right of a person, but the demonstration or protest should not violate the fundamental rights of others,” he said.
Former treasurer of KCCI, Mohammed Bava said that bandhs hamper the development of the district and potential investors see Dakshina Kannada as a risky investment option.
Member of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Rahim Uchil said, “We support a bandh free district, but what can a person do when the administration doesn’t act towards any issues? How does one express his opposition to certian issuest?” He said that projects like Yettinahole cannot be dealt with, by submitting memorandums to the government. “There are many instances where rights are secured only by staging an agitation,” he added.
Advocate S P Chengappa said that acting according to the directives of the Supreme Court in this regard, the organisation that has called for a bandh should take full responsibility of the losses incurred due to the bandh. “An organisation should inform the public, a week in advance before a bandh is called,” he added.
District Minister in-charge, B Ramanth Rai said, “The administration has to take certain steps so that the movement of thugs is restricted during a bandh. If there is loss of life during a bandh the leaders of the organisation which called the bandh, should be charged with murder. I believe a ban on provocative speeches will help Dakshina Kannada, to be a bandh free district.”
Police Commissioner, Chandra Sekhar said, “There is ‘Freedom Park’, a separate place meant for protests in Bengaluru. It is a good system where the protesters get good recognition.”
The Supreme Court had appointed two committees to issue directives on protests, K T Thomas Committee and Nariman Committee. The committees had filed reports and accordingly SC had issued directives to hold protests.
- The organizer should meet the police to review and revise the route to be taken and to lay down conditions for a peaceful protest.
- All weapons, including knives , lathis and the like should be prohibited.
- All undertaking should be provided by the organizers to ensure a peaceful march with marshals at each relevant jurisdiction.
- The police and the State Government should ensure videography of such protests to the maximum extent possible.
- The person-in-charge to supervise the demonstration should be SP (if the situation is confined to the district) and the highest police officer in the State, where the situation stretches beyond one district.
- In the event the demonstrations turn violent, the officer-in-charge should ensure that the events are videographed through private operators and also request such further information from the media and others on the incidents in question.
- The police should immediately inform the State Government with reports on the events , including damage , if any , caused by the police.
- The State Government should prepare a report on the police reports and other information that may be available to it and should file a petition including its report in the High Court in question to take suo moto action.
The SC had also branded bandhs an ‘Unconstitutional’ and had suggested implementing a ‘ward committee’, which involves meeting of the general public and the administration.
SP Dr Sharanappa said, “If one believes that by calling a bandh one can secure his rights then it is not at all true. Psychologically, you may feel that your bandh has worked, but only the administration knows the thorough research that has been done before any order is passed. Let us re-enforce the faith in the administration. The government is elected by you and it is there to protect your rights.”
DC Ibrahim said, “If any organization hands over or sends any memorandum to me or my office, I will go through it. Discussions will be held with the concerned authorities within a week and we will try to solve the problem. People should not lose hope in the district administration instead they should co-operate with the district administration to get justice. Protest is not the solution for all the problems”.
Minister Abhaychandra Jain, ZP CEO Sreevidya, MUDA chairman Ibrahim Kodijal, MLC Ivan D’Souza and others were also present.