What Is Section 144? Why Is It Imposed Ahead Of Farmers' March In Delhi | Explainer

Allocation of extra travel time and alternative transportation options is advisable. Comply with local laws and regulations, including any restrictions enforced by authorities, such as Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Follow guidance from law enforcement personnel and adhere to safety instructions provided for your own well-being and security.
Section 144 has been imposed in the entire Delhi in view of the farmers' call for March to Delhi. (Representational Image)

Section 144 has been imposed in the entire Delhi in view of the farmers' call for March to Delhi. (Representational Image)

Photo : ANI
The Delhi Police has proactively implemented measures in anticipation of an upcoming farmers' march ‘Chalo Delhi’ to the national capital on February 13 by enforcing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code across Delhi.
The current order, effective until March 12, 2024, prohibits gatherings of five or more individuals, with or without weapons, throughout the national capital. With the goal of preventing any potential disruption to law-and-order stemming from the upcoming large-scale farmers' march, Section 144 has been invoked in Delhi to maintain order and prevent chaos.
These restrictive measures for one month entail limitations on public gatherings and other activities. This decision reflects concerns about possible unrest and violence, drawing parallels with past events such as the 2020 farmers' agitation.
Several farmer organisations have urged their supporters to assemble and march to Delhi on February 13 to advocate for their demands, which include legislation on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations. The protestors are expected to camp at the Delhi border until their demands are addressed.
Considering the farmers' march scheduled for February 13 in Delhi, here's an overview of Section 144 and the reasons for its imposition during such circumstances.

What is Section 144?

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is invoked in cases of urgent nuisance or perceived danger from an event that could potentially endanger human life or property. This provision generally prohibits public gatherings.

Why Is It Imposed?

In the past, Section 144 has been utilised to impose restrictions aimed at preventing protests that may escalate into unrest or riots. The authority to enforce Section 144 is vested in Executive Magistrates during emergency situations.
Apart from that, Section 144 also prohibits the carrying of any weapons in the designated area where it is enforced, and individuals can be detained for breaching this order.
The maximum penalty for violating this provision is three years of imprisonment.
The enforcement of Section 144 is geared towards upholding law and order while mitigating potential disruptions, to strike a balance between the right to peaceful demonstration and the imperative of safeguarding public safety and security.

Whom does it affect?

In addition to ensuring the safety of students attending schools and colleges within the city, it impacts individuals traveling between states, especially those from neighbouring areas.
Travelers are advised to stay alert and informed about evolving situations. Anticipate possible traffic disruptions and public transportation delays, including bus, metro, and train services, due to potential road closures and route diversions.

What are the farmers currently demanding?

The farmers' grievances go beyond just the MSP legislation, covering a range of other concerns such as pensions for farmers and farm labourers, forgiveness of farm debts, withdrawal of police charges, and justice for the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Despite challenges, the protesting farmers stand resolute in their goals, striving for practical resolutions to address the hardships encountered by the agricultural sector.
End of Article
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