The East Khasi Hills District Administration has imposed Section 144 CrPC in Shillong to prevent ‘surprise rallies’ within the limits of Shillong city.
According to an official notification issued by the Office of East Khasi Hills District Magistrate – Isawanda Laloo, IAS, “It aims to prevent any NGO/group or untoward elements from blatantly misusing such rallies/processions to indulge in criminal acts, thereby disrupting public order, and any such acts which cause severe inconvenience to the public at large.”
#Prohibited of any rally or procession within the whole Shillong City limits, including the Shillong Urban Agglomeration area@DiprMeghalaya @isawanda_laloo @DC_EKH @MeghalayaPolice pic.twitter.com/W3ke2XXqAT
— MegNIC (@MeghalayaGov) October 31, 2022
The order is not applicable to religious processions, which have obtained due permission and undertake to strictly adhere to conditions given.
The DM said that “several NGOs/ groups/ organisers carry out processions/ rallies within the city limits of Shillong from time to time for protesting against various issues, and the organizers do not comply with either one or many of the conditions imposed by this authority. Such processions also cause severe inconvenience and disturbance to commuters, pedestrians, school-children, parents and the public at large.”
“In one such rally held in Shillong on 28th October 2022, several incidents of assault of commuters and vandalism of vehicles took place, which have caused a fear psychosis amongst the public at large. It is learnt that other NGOs and groups are also planning similar events such as ‘surprise rallies’ within the limits of Shillong City.” the order further states.
The order prohibits the assembly of five or more people for the purpose of any rally or procession within the whole Shillong City limits, including the Shillong Urban Agglomeration area.
Any violation of the said order will attract penal provisions under Section 188 of the IPC, and any other as deemed fit and appropriate, the order said.