BENGALURU: Following a mass rally and public meeting planned by Muslim Jaamats at Khuddus Saheb Idgah grounds on Miller’s Road, where around 1 lakh people are expected to congregate on Monday, Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has appealed to people to avoid going towards Cantonment and surrounding areas until 4 pm.
The rally is being held against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“Finish your work before 10 am or do it after 4 pm if it is in the Cantonment area. We will be giving live updates about traffic on FM channels and updating our social media handles,” Rao said, adding that elaborate arrangements have been made by Bengaluru City Police to ensure law and order in the city.
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Rao said the Jamaat leaders had initially planned a mass protest, but after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa met them on December 19 and explained what CAA was, and assured them of safety in Karnataka, they planned a mass meeting instead. They say the meeting will carry a message of peace and communal harmony.
He said there is a possibility of 1 lakh people participating in the rally, which starts at 11 am and ends after the 1 pm namaz. However, Rao said it would take until 4 pm for the crowd to dissipate from the central business district.
Intelligence reports, however, said the number of people expected is around 50,000. Rao said the police have deployed 120 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), City Armed Reserve (CAR), two companies of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and one from Jodhpur, CCB officers, ACPs and policemen of all ranks.
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Police claim to have installed around 1,000 CCTV cameras, and policemen will use handheld cameras to record the event. Fire tenders and ambulances will be stationed at parking lots in case of an emergency.
“We have activated our informants to tip us off about any planned violence. We had two or three rounds of meetings with the organisers to maintain peace and decided to allow the event. We are holding the organisers responsible for any law and order problems, and have instructed them not to involve people who may trigger violence,” Rao said.
With people pouring in from different parts of the city to the Idgah grounds, traffic movement is restricted in and around Millers Road and Nandidurga Road, Joint Commissioner (Traffic) BR Ravikanthe Gowda said.
“If an ambulance is found moving towards Cantonment, we will give clearance through alternative roads,” he added.
Though traffic movement is restricted in Cantonment area, shops, commercial establishments, schools and offices would function as usual. Prohibitory orders have not been imposed, Rao said.
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“In case of violence, police action will be very strict and we will take the upper hand,” Rao said.
“Anyone forcing a bandh or shutting shops will be seriously dealt with. We trust the organisers will hold the meeting peacefully.”
Cops announce diversions
The city police have made traffic arrangements at Khuddus Saheb Idgah ground (Haj Camp) on Miller’s Road near Cantonment Railway Station. Nandidurga Road and Miller’s Road will be completely prohibited for vehicular traffic.
The police have banned all type of vehicle movements on Miller’s Road till Cantonment junction and on Nandidurg Road till Jayamahal Junction.