The national capital, which at times is a centre of social and political protests of diverse nature, witnessed a decrease of more than 11 per cent in such events last year compared to 2016, according to a Delhi Police report. Delhi, being the seat of the Union government, witnesses a large number of demonstrations, rallies and marches, and dharnas by organisations from across India on political, social, labour, youth and students issues, the report said. In 2017, a total of 9,546 different types of protests were held in Delhi, which was 11.47 per cent less than 10,784 protests witnessed in 2016, as per the Special Branch data. The protests included 4,116 dharnas, 1,586 demonstrations, 320 processions, 443 marches and rallies, 751 meetings and 2,330 other miscellaneous programmes.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned all dharnas and protests at Jantar Mantar, a hotspot of agitations, in October last year, saying that they violated the environmental law. And this contributed to bringing down the number of protests, a senior police offcial said.
The report claimed all protests were handled smoothly by the police. The Special Branch is primarily tasked with the collection of intelligence having a bearing on prevention of untoward incidents and maintenance of law and order in Delhi.