Delhi Police Grants Permission To Chant 'Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko…' At Rally, Denies Allegations After Backlash
Right to Information activist Saket Gokhale has claimed that the Delhi Police granted him permission to host a peaceful rally with demonstrators chanting "desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko(shoot the traitors)," from Delhi's Jantar Mantar to Parliament St. Police Station on February 2.
On Saturday, February 1, Saket took to Twitter to share the copy of the police permission.
The @DelhiPolice has, shockingly, granted me permission to hold a rally chanting "desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko."— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
The permission was given to me today when I visited Parliament St. Police Station.
This chant now, it seems, has state sanction.
Saket had earlier asked the Delhi Police for the permission to hold a rally and had explicitly mentioned that the demonstrators wanted to chant the controversial slogan.
In a series of tweets, Saket revealed that after his request, the Delhi police had asked him if his protest was in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) or against it. He claimed that he was given the permission to hold the rally after he told the police that his protest was "against communal forces at Jamia."
"At the police station, all they kept asking me was, is this against the CAA?" Saket wrote. He also clarified that he had no intention to hold the protest and that he "only wanted the police to give in writing what they think of this reprehensible slogan."
Soon after the tweet, Saket got a call from the police saying that the slogan "will be problematic" given the ongoing Model Code of Conduct and requested him to move the protest after February 8, the day of the Delhi Assembly elections.
After the call from the police, Saket again took to Twitter and asked, "If this is indeed a violation, then why isn't Anurag Thakur arrested?"
Update: I just received a call from ACP HAX cell saying that the slogan "will be problematic" in view of the ongoing Model Code of Conduct.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
I've now been "requested" to move the protest to after 8th February.
If this is indeed a violation, why isn't Anurag Thakur arrested?
Saket was referring to the incident where Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, encouraged the Bharatiya Janata Party workers at a rally in Delhi's Daryaganj to shout the inflammatory slogan.
However, Delhi Police refuted the claims and said that no permission was given. "It is hereby clarified that no permission to hold a protest on 02.02.2020 has been given to Sh. Saket Gokhale. A copy of his request letter is being circulated in the social media as permission, which is not the case," DCP of New Delhi tweeted.
It is hereby clarified that no permission to hold a protest on 02.02.2020 has been given to Sh.Saket Gokhale. A copy of his request letter is being circulated in the social media as permission, which is not the case. @DelhiPolice— DCP New Delhi (@DCPNewDelhi) February 1, 2020
Responding to the Delhi police's claim, Saket filed an RTI asking whether or not he was denied permission for the protest and also asked to specify the reasons for the denial. He also asked the Delhi police to produce a copy of the refusal letter.
Fine @DelhiPolice - let's do it your way.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) February 1, 2020
I've filed an RTI seeking to know from @DCPNewDelhi whether
(a) permission was actually refused for my peaceful protest march after it was granted to me
(b) what were the grounds for refusing this permission.
Your turn, Maanyavar. pic.twitter.com/pjbOvVApMM