Over 500 protests, demonstrations and sit-ins have taken place in the national capital in the first two months of this year, according to official data.
While a dharna or sit-in is a way of showing disagreement with something by refusing to leave a place, a protest is a strong complaint showing disagreement, disapproval or opposition, police said.
Using these definitions, the data stated that in January and February, there were 103 dharnas, 49 demonstrations and 349 protests in the city.
Of the total number of dharnas, 60 were political, 33 related to issues of labourers, five were youth or student programmes, and five were communal in nature, it stated.
Thirty demonstrations were political, 13 related to issues of labourers and six communal in nature.
The data stated that among the 349 protests in these two months, 164 were political, 104 related to labourers, 74 youth or student programmes, and four communal in nature.
Last year (January to December), the number of sit-ins, protests and demonstrations was 3,470. In 2020, it was 2,757 for the same period, it said.
Giving a breakup for the last year, the data stated that there were 1,985 protests, 775 dharnas and 710 demonstrations. In 2020, there were 1,675 protests, 569 dharnas and 513 demonstrations, it stated.
"There are different challenges with different agitations. If a demonstration is happening on a particular stretch of road, it leads to traffic issues due to which commuters face difficulty," a senior police official said, adding that with temperatures rising, it sometimes gets difficult for police personnel to perform their duties.
"When women and children join a protest, then we deal with the situation accordingly. Police also videograph agitations and urge protesters to move out when they gather illegally. Providing washrooms, especially for women personnel, in an area where an agitation in underway, is also a concern," the official said.
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