With April 15 being the last day for political parties and candidates to hold public rallies in the state, citizens can expect more than 150 rallies leading to traffic jams over the next few days.
As per data available with Express, since March 13, as many as 1,260 public rallies were held across the City, averaging 40 rallies every day. Of the eight police divisions, headed by seven DCPs and one single window at the office of the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore North and Bangalore South zones, which fall under the two high-stakes Lok Sabha constituencies, have witnessed more rallies compared to the other divisions.
With just two more days left for public campaigning, the city police expect more rallies. “The average number is expected to rise and we expect more than 150 rallies to be held in next two-three days,” a senior police officer said. As per norms, one should inform the police 36 hours prior to a rally, but many political leaders come to seek permission just two hours before, he said.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Kamal Pant said representatives of political parties seek permission from the Police Commissioner’s office or the offices of the DCPs concerned. “When we get a request, we check with the local police if any other rally is being held at the same time. We will also inform the local police where the rally will be conducted so that they can make necessary arrangements,” he said. “One should take an NoC from the local police,” he added.
“Normally, those organising rallies seek permission from respective divisions/zones if the rally is being held within that zone. If the rally is held in two or more zones, permission has to be sought from the Commissioner’s office,” he added.
Pant objected to political party representatives seeking permission hours before a rally. “Police permit them to hold rallies with certain conditions. If they violate these conditions, we can take action under Section 188 of IPC (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),” he said.
Not wearing Helmet is A common offence
Two-wheeler riders not wearing helmet during public rallies is the most common offence, according to Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B Dayanand. “As they will be amidst a crowd, we cannot catch them at that time. As this will be video-recorded, we can impose penalty or issue notice to the owner of the vehicle,” he added.