Ramlila Maidan Protest: Staging protest in Delhi’s iconic ground is proving costly for organisers, according to Indian Express report. National Green Tribunal (NGT) last week had put a ban on protests at Jantar Mantar. North Delhi Municipal Corporation costs Rs 50,000 per day to hold a protest or an event at Ramlila Maidan, the report says. With Jantar Mantar not available, the Ramlila Maidan is left for the organisers to stage dissent in the capital.
On October 5, an NGT bench headed by Justice R S Rathore had ordered the Delhi government, New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Police Commissioner to “immediately stop all dharnas, assembling of people, public speeches and use of loudspeakers at Jantar Mantar Road within four weeks”. It also said all protesters at the site will be shifted to Ramlila Maidan.
On October 11, the Delhi High Court had taken note of a recent NGT order banning all protests and dharnas around the historic Jantar Mantar area in Delhi and said that no further indulgence was required. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar disposed of a PIL seeking direction to prohibit holding of dharna by NGOs, social groups and others and also restraining them from “shouting slogans, distributing pamphlets and littering at Jantar Mantar road”. The PIL before the high court had said that the residents have been left “disgusted and distressed by processions and agitations held by social groups, political parties, NGOs at Jantar Mantar road which continue throughout the day, 365 days a year”.
North corporation spokesperson Yogendra Maan told Indian Express that charging money for the venue is a policy matter formulated by the House. “Policy regarding the venue for protesters will be made by the House,” he said. Officials said the cost used to be Rs 5,000 but was raised in 2015.