According to a press release, the Mumbai Police has prohibited gatherings of five or more people across the city from December 3. But there’s no need to panic.
The news about the Mumbai Police imposing certain restrictions and bans hit headlines every now and then. But very few people know that these are not new orders but the same order which is renewed every 15 days. On December 2, reports claimed that the police issued a press release — imposing prohibiting the gathering of more than four-five people and banning the use of loudspeakers among other things till January 2.
Soon, several Twitter user took to the social media platforms to ask if the news about the curfew is true.
@MumbaiPolice Dear Sir,We got to know that there will be a curfew in Mumbai for the coming days,Is it true? Have tried to search Mumbai Police twit but couldn’t find it.Please help in this regard.Thanks in advance Sir.— Praveen Singh (@praveens010) December 2, 2022
“This is only a ‘jamao bandi’ from December 3 to 17 which is renewed every 15 days. Under this, the gathering of four-five people is prohibited,” a police official said. The Mumbai Police also issued a clarification stating, “Above are routine orders which are issued by Mumbai Police throughout the year.”
This isn’t the first time this confusion ensued after a similar order was passed. Last time, on October 25, a similar situation unfolded when the routine order of unlawful assembly under the Maharashtra Police Act was renewed. The order copy got leaked and it created confusion.
What does the law say?
This order doesn’t largely affect anything or anyone. Police also don’t take any action until and unless a gathering leads to a law and order situation. In case a ruckus, or unrest of a “law and order situation” arises, the accused is also charged under sections of violation of the Maharashtra Police Act.
“The Commissioner and the District Magistrate in areas under their respective charges, may whenever and for such time as he shall consider necessary for the preservation of public peace or public safety by a notification publicly promulgated or addressed to individuals, prohibit at any town, village or place or in the vicinity of any such town, village or place…,” the Act says.
Under this Act, authorities may impose restrictions on the “carrying of arms, cudgels, swords, spears, bludgeons, guns, knives, sticks or lathis”, “public utterance of cries, singing of songs, playing of musk” and “delivery of harangues, the use of gestures or mimetic representations” among other things.
So, the next time you see a fresh report about restrictions being imposed on social gatherings, don’t panic. It might just be an order renewed by the Mumbai Police to ensure peace in the city.
(With inputs from Santia Gora)
First Published: IST