Pune cops demand fire and structural audit for Kanhaiya rally

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Pune, Apr 21: Pune police have asked organisers of JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar's April 24 rally here to fulfill certain pre-conditions for permission for the event, including a fire and structural safety audit.

Progressive Students Youth Action Committee, which has invited Kumar, said the notice was a ruse to deny permission. "We had decided to hold the event on the premises of Rashtra Seva Dal and had sought permission from police. Police served us a notice late last night, and we have been asked to fulfil certain pre-conditions," said Girish Phonde, a member of the organising committee.

Kanhaiya Kumar

The notice asked the organisers to conduct "fire and structural audit" of the place, and also warned that as the sitting capacity of the venue is not more than 400, there could be a pandemonium if more people turned out. It also asked the organisers to provide enough parking space, and warned of law and order issues because of anti-social elements in the area.

Phonde alleged that these were "pressurising tactics" and a ruse to deny the permission. "We are determined to hold the rally and more and more people will attend it. We are thinking of changing the venue," he said.

Today, police issued a fresh notice saying the permission will be denied if the conditions were not fulfilled, he said. A senior police official told PTI, "We are committed to giving adequate security to the event to avoid untoward incidents. But the organisers should fulfil the conditions as asked by the local police station."

When organisers applied for permission four to five days ago, they had not mentioned the venue, he said. "After we came to know about the venue, we visited the place and found that it's a very congested area and that's why certain preconditions were prescribed," he said.


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