Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal has directed the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, to exercise the powers of a "detaining authority" under the National Security Act (NSA), 1980, for the next three months starting January 19 to April 18, under which anyone can face detention during this period. "...the Lt Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is pleased to direct that during the period 19/01/2020 to 18/04/2020, the commissioner of Police, Delhi, may also exercise the powers of detaining authority," the order said. However, MHA has reportedly clarified the order giving detention powers to the Delhi police commissioner was a routine one.
The order comes days after the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi police to look into the issue of traffic restrictions on the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch, where protesters have been sitting for over a month now.
They are opposing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and a proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Delhi Police on Friday appealed to agitators to unblock the stretch as the road is a key link between Noida and Delhi. It has been closed by the Noida Traffic Police in view of the ongoing protests for over a month.
"We appeal to agitators at Road No 13-A, Shaheen Bagh to understand the sufferings, the complete highway blockade is causing to the residents of Delhi and NCR, senior citizens, emergency patients and school going children," a police statement said, PTI reported.
In another development, the YS Jagan government in Andhra Pradesh has also empowered all district collectors, district magistrates and police commissioners with NSA power, under which anyone can face preventive detention for a minimum of three months. The decision has likely been taken in wake of the Jagan government going ahead with its decision to have three state capitals.
Edited by Manoj Sharma