Protesters evicted from Jantar Mantar
Citing violation of environmental laws, NGT has banned protests at the historic monument and named Ramlila Maidan as alternative site
Armed with the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order in this regard, the Delhi Police and the civic bodies’ officials uprooted the tents put up by various groups of protesters at Jantar Mantar, on Monday.
Citing the violation of environmental laws, the green panel had on October 5 banned all protests around the historic monument, which has become a hotspot for agitations over the last few decades. The NGT directed authorities to shift protesters to an alternative site at Ramlila Maidan, Ajmeri Gate.
Meanwhile, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Monday sought a report on its order after Delhi Police counsel informed it that the site has been cleared and all makeshift and temporary structures have been removed.
Among hundreds of people who were evacuated from the site were the ex-servicemen, who have been demanding implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. According to them, the NGT’s order was “an attempt to throttle our voice in a democracy”. Group Captain Vinod Kumar Gandhi said that after the NGT order, Delhi government was to provide an alternate place but that has not been done yet.
“Ramlila Maidan is not a convenient place for protesters as there is no place to eat and no washrooms. The charges are Rs 50,000 a day, which is unrealistic for a common man,” Gandhi said.
He also alleged that they were forcibly detained and were manhandled by police.
Meanwhile, Ramlila Maidan wore a deserted look. “We have not received any application for a no-objection certificate, which is required from police before we allow protests at the site,” a senior NDMC official said.
Protesters at Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar bears a vacant look after protesters were evacuated by police on Monday