Newly-elected Vadgam MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani held a rally at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar despite denial of permission by NGT, which prohibits rallies in heart of Delhi.
"No permission granted so far by Delhi Police to hold proposed protest at Parliament Street in view of NGT orders. Organisers have been constantly advised to go to alternate site, which they are reluctant to accept," the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, tweeted on Monday night.
However, organisers of the Mevani-led “Yuva Hunkaar rally” have said that they would be going ahead with their plan.
As it happened:
04:55 pm: The way corruption, poverty, unemployment and the real issues are being swept under the carpet and ghar wapasi, love jihad and cows are being given space, we stand against that: Jignesh Mewani at Yuva Hunkar rally
04:35 pm: Only students and union leaders left in the crowd. Most seats seen empty. Police says most crowd, sighted earlier, were people from nearby offices stopping by during lunch.
03:50 pm: It is being reported that Delhi Police has imposed Section 144, FIR to be filed against participants after Yuva Hunkar Rally
03:30 pm: Umar Khalid says,"Government wants to shut Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) but we want 150 JNUs should come up across India so that a Dalit from Kalahandi can study there"
03:10 pm: Speaking at the Yuva Hunkar rally, Umar Khalid says: "Narendra Modi's bubble has burst. The myth around him is fading. It has been due. We don't want hatred, we want jobs, peace and growth for the youth. Manuvadi vichaardhara ko maanne walon ke liye Daliton ka koi jagah nahi hai (Those who believe in Manuvadi school of thoughts don't have any space for Dalits). We will fight and avenge the death of Rohith Vemula."
03:00 pm: Rather than asking us why we are going ahead with the rally "despite not having permission", media should ask the Delhi Police why they kept lying about cancellation of permission. Thanks to everyone for the terrific turnout amid lies and conspiracy, Shehla Rashid, former vice-president, JNU Students' Union tweeted.
01:22 pm: Not many Mevani supporters have reached the venue of the rally, as chairs at the venue can be seen empty.
01:20 pm: Jignesh Mevani reaches Jantar Mantar.
01:00 pm: Jignesh Mevani reaches Parliament Road, where he has been denied permission to hold rally as per NGT orders.
12:48 pm: Unfortunate. We were just going to demonstrate democratically and peacefully, the Govt is targeting us, an elected representative is not being allowed to speak: Jignesh Mewani on being denied permission for Yuva Hunkar rally in Delhi
12:35 pm: A senior officer from New Delhi district told PTI that additional forces from other districts of the city have been called in. The Parliament Street has been fortified and water cannon vehicles have been deployed, he said.
12:20 pm: It is reported that over 1,000 police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed at the Parliament Street, armed with tear gas and water cannons.
12:17 pm: Jignesh Mevani leaves from Ambedkar Park to address rally
11:55 am: "Nobody has been given a permission. Since there is an NGT order that no protest can be staged at Jantar Mantar, we have asked organisers to hold the protest at alternate sites like Ramlila Maidan," said Ajay Chaudhary, Joint CP of New Delhi.
11:00 am: Heavy security has been deployed on the Parliament Street to control the crowds.
Delhi: Heavy security deployed ahead of Jignesh Mevani's 'Yuva Hunkar Rally' to be held at Parliament Street. Delhi Police has denied permission to hold the event. pic.twitter.com/7Q8CO9tqVg— ANI (@ANI) January 9, 2018
10:55 am: Training guns at the BJP, Mevani today tweeted, "Baandh le bistar BJP, raaj ab jaane ko hai. Julm kaafi kar chuke, public bigad jaane ko hai (BJP must pack its bags as time has come for it leave power. Public is about to revolt as it (BJP) has done enough atrocities)".
The 'Social Justice' rally or 'Yuva Hunkaar Rally' is planned to be addressed by Mevani along with Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi.
The NGT on October 5 last year had ordered officials to "immediately stop all activities of dharna, protest, agitations, assembling of people, public speeches and using of loud speakers among others at the Jantar Mantar Road."
One of the organisers and former JNU Students' Union president Mohit Kumar Pandey said, "There has been a lot of attempts to stop this event and even some media houses are spreading wrong information that the permission for the rally has been denied."
Ever since the rally was announced on January 2, "a lot of money has been spent on posters calling Mevani a deshdrohi (traitor) and urban naxal," Pandey told PTI, adding the event will be held as per schedule.
In a statement, the organisers have urged the prospective participants to "assemble on the Parliament Street at 12 pm on tomorrow".
The rally seeks to raise the demand for the release of Dalit outfit Bhim Army's founder Chandrashekhar Azad and emphasise on issues like educational rights, employment, livelihood and gender justice.
A large section of students from universities and colleges in Delhi, women's groups, teachers' associations and activists associated with Mevani from across the country are expected to attend the rally.
Azad, 30, was arrested in June last year from Himachal Pradesh as he was the main accused in the Thakur-Dalit clash in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.
Few days ago, a case filed against Mevani and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) leader Umar Khalid for their alleged "provocative" speeches during an event here on December 31. Both were charged for allegedly creating a rift and spreading disharmony between the Maratha and Dalit communities.