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Andhra issues order to check stampede incidents at meetings and rallies

DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent

Published on: January 3, 2023 | Updated on: January 4, 2023

In view of the recent stampede incidents in Kandukur and Guntur, the AP government has imposed a ban on public meetings and rallies on roads (Photo by arrangement)

Vijayawada: In view of the recent stampede incidents in Kandukur and Guntur, the AP government has imposed a ban on public meetings and rallies on national, state, municipal and panchayat raj roads across the state.

The two stampedes at opposition Telugu Desam meetings had left 11 persons dead and several others injured.

The government said district SPs and police commissioners may grant such permission only in rare cases. The national, state, municipal and panchayat raj roads in the state should be used only for transportation of people and goods, the government order said.

It asked the district officials to select alternative places for holding meetings in villages, towns and cities.

Principal secretary to government, Harish Gupta, issued the GORT -01 of the home department via-a-vis public meetings/assembly on roads and roadsides/margins, under the Police Act 1861.

The order said no licence should be granted for any meeting on state and national highways. By and large, alternative locations such as public grounds must be utilised for this purpose.

"Municipal roads and panchayat roads are narrow and meant for free movement of the people staying in the local area. Any obstruction due to meetings on these roads endangers lives, disrupts the civic life as also emergency services, causing inconvenience to the general public. Only in rare and exceptional circumstances, and for reasons to be recorded in writing, shall the applications for grant of permission for public meetings be considered," the order said.

It said, "The police may suggest alternative locations away from public roads subject to conditions that the meetings should not obstruct the free flow of traffic on public roads and not affect the safety of the travelling public. It is also advisable that the district administration and the police machinery, upon request for such meetings, identify forthwith the designated places in their respective jurisdiction, away from public roads, for public meetings."

"It shall be the duty of the police to keep order on the public roads, and in the public streets, thoroughfares, ghats and landing places, and at all other places of public activity and prevent obstructions on the occasions of assemblies and processions on the public roads and in the public streets, or in the neighbourhood of places of worship, during the time of public worship."

The order asked the DGP (HOPF) to take necessary action to avoid tragic incidents during meetings of political parties.