NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) on Saturday condemned the Delhi Police for attempting to stop a seminar-cum-workshop being held at the party office -- Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhavan near Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Marg.
The party also attacked the Centre saying that the Modi government must stop interfering, through the Delhi Police and it is the democratic right of citizens to hold discussions and seminars in the national capital.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also claimed that the Delhi Police stopped people from attending a ‘We20 meeting’ organised by activists inside a building of CPIM.
A statement issued by the party said that the action of the Delhi Police to try and stop a seminar-cum-workshop on alternative policies with regard to the G20, was totally uncalled for and an attempt to suppress dissenting opinions being voiced. However, the police said that the organisers had not informed or taken permission for the gathering held in the ‘sensitive zone’.
The CPIM said that the Bhavan is owned by the CPIM, where it conducts various activities, including party education and seminars. Various civil society organisations, under the banner of ‘We20’, were conducting a meeting on the issues raised by the forthcoming G20 summit, it added.
The event, scheduled for Aug 18-20, where activists and opposition leaders had gathered to raise people’s issues.
“The police sought to stop the meeting stating that the event had not got police permission. No police permission was ever required for such meetings or seminars in private buildings. The Polit Bureau of the CPIM strongly protests against this arbitrary action of the Delhi Police,” it added.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Ramesh questioned the police action against the ‘peaceful’ meeting.
“It is extraordinary that Delhi Police is stopping people from attending the We20 meeting organised by activists representing We, The People, inside a building that belongs to the CPIM. The meeting is perfectly peaceful. There are no street protests. I managed to enter at 10:30 am before Delhi Police started its operations but had difficulty exiting now. This is New India Democracy,” he posted.
The police officials said that information was received about the gathering of people at Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhawan and immediately a police team responded. It was found that people were gathered and a tent was also erected at the said building, the police stated.
“On asking, the organisers could not produce any valid permission. Even they had not intimated the police about the programme and gathering. DDU Marg is a sensitive zone and in view of the forthcoming G20 event, no gathering without any prior permission/intimation can be allowed, hence the organisers were advised to remove tents and asked not to continue the programme without a valid permission,” said the police official.