Recordings to route maps: Chhattisgarh tightens rules for public protests, rallies

The Chhattisgarh government has asked officials to ensure protest demonstrations and rallies in their areas are held only after “prior permission”, as it laid down fresh norms for allowing public events that are political, religious, or even social, in nature.

In a letter issued on April 22, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Subrat Sahoo has directed all District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to keep a thorough record of those organising and attending such events.

Organisers will now have to apply for permission in a prescribed format that requires details such as the number of people expected to attend, route maps for rallies, and information on the vehicles used.

Fresh norms fixing accountability have been included, which will have to be complied with for events to be green-lighted.


Tough stance

Besides “ensuring peace” and hiring volunteers, rules that already exist, organisers will have to submit “10 names and (phone) numbers” to the police and the civil administration in the district.

“It should be made mandatory for various institutions/ organisations to obtain prior permission of the district administration before organising the event, so that the administration takes measures to change the route, (and on) traffic… and security of common citizens and (also) makes administrative arrangements smoothly…,” the letter reads.

It will also be mandatory for organisers to video and audio record the entire event and submit two copies of the recordings to the Sub Divisional Magistrate within two days. They will also have to carry the “permission slip” issued by the Collector’s office and are present it during inspection.

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