India has seen atleast 10 instances of section 144 in the last 8 months of Modi 2.0

  • Local police of Bengaluru, Uttar Pradesh and several parts of Karnataka imposed Section 144 on December 19 following massive protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
  • The section has become a common occurrence, especially during the later half of the year.
  • People violating the section can be booked for involvement in riots and sent to prison for 3 years.
Soon after thousands of people joined a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 19, local police of Bengaluru, Uttar Pradesh and several parts of Karnataka imposed Section 144. The section has become a common occurrence, especially during the later half of the year.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 empowers the police to forbid assembly of four or more people in an area. It also allows authorities to shut down mobile, internet and SMS services. People violating the section can be booked for involvement in riots and sent to prison for 3 years.

Here are all the events when government used section 144 in 2019:

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Protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

Protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

Authorities imposed section 144 across Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and in several parts of Delhi-NCR on December 19 following massive CAA protest. The act relaxes citizenship norms for all non-Hindu minority religions from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - was passed by the Upper house of the Parliament this month.

Though, mobile services of Bengaluru remained unaffected, police suspended mobile, internet and SMS services in several parts of New Delhi. Uttar Pradesh imposed the section second time this week after it did so on December 17 in 6 districts. This time, it covered the entire state.

Security is also tight at Jamia Millia Islamia, the university which was at the heart of the protest in Delhi. The government also imposed Section 144 in Sonipat district in Assam on December 9 following violent protests in Northeast and was relaxed on December 15.

CAA triggered violent outcry from thousands of people who believe the bill is discriminatory.

The Hyderabad rape and murder case

The Hyderabad rape and murder case

Earlier this month, Hyderabad police imposed section 144 for two days in the city following the horrific rape and murder of a 27-year-old doctor — whose body was found on a national highway. People were asked not to protest in any manner be it dharnas or rallies-- and were prohibited from giving speeches or gestures that may trigger public unrest.

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​ Ayodhya Verdict

​ Ayodhya Verdict

Ahead of the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya Verdict on November 13, police in UP, Jaipur and several parts of New Delhi and Mumbai -- had imposed Section 144 to prevent possible riots. In Jaipur, internet services were down for three days due to the verdict.

Jammu and Kashmir — removal of section 370

Jammu and Kashmir — removal of section 370

Two days before the Indian government announced the abrogation of Section 370, thousands of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were asked to leave Kashmir immediately. Since then, Section 144 was imposed, internet services were suspended, and political leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were placed under house arrest. Even after 138 days, the section is still imposed in the area during the night.

Life in Kashmir stood standstill for weeks as people across the region had no clue about the situation.

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The Aarey controversy

The Aarey controversy

In October, Mumbai Police imposed the section in the Aarey colony following a massive protest over tree cutting in the area. Police booked 38 people, and detained another 60 others who violated the law.

Aarey protest was triggered after the Bombay High Court dismissed petitions against Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) to save the green zone and make way for metro shed — by slashing over 2,600 trees.

​Sharad Pawar vs ED

​Sharad Pawar vs ED

Mumbai Police imposed Section 144 on September 27 in many areas of Mumbai particularly the business district -- as NCP chief Sharad Pawar was brought in by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in connection with a corruption case at Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.

The ED registered a case against Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar, among 70 officials of the bank for an alleged ₹25,000 crore fraud.

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Extreme heat wave in Bihar

Extreme heat wave in Bihar

Weather also contributed to the imposition of this section. Bihar government imposed it as section due to a heatwave. Temperatures at Gaya and Patna shot up above 45 degree Celsius, and as many as 184 succumbed to death while several others were hospitalised. The state government wanted fewer people to be affected by it, and imposed the section to keep people home and safe.