Police Act Sec 39 imposed at Siddharth college

In one of the first instances, police imposed Section 39 of the Bombay Police Act at Siddharth College two weeks ago to keep out factions that have been fighting for control over the trust that governs the institute. The move came a week after a local court barred the 12 individuals from entering the premises last month. The provision allows for the entry of only those people that it deems expedient "in order to prevent or suppress any riot or grave disturbance of peace".

A bandobast has been in place around the college since Anandraj Ambedkar took over as the chairman of the People's Education Society on June 24. Chaos on college premises and fear of clashes between Republican Party of India and Anandraj's Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) led to cops stepping in.

Police on June 26 filed a petition in the Esplanade Court to impose Section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code, that would ensure a law and order situation did not develop at the college that is in proximity to several landmarks. Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh's order

followed a week later.

"Section 39 can only be imposed by the chief of police. Although, this section has been imposed in rural areas, this is the first time it has been imposed here," said Krishna Prakash, Additional Commissioner of Police (South).

"Not only are all parties barred from the college, we have also ensured it is functioning properly. Only students, staff and other administrative employees are allowed to enter," he said.

Trouble has been brewing at the college for several years, prompting cops to intervene. In June last year, 350 protestors led by Anandraj's brother Prakash Ambedkar barged into the college demanding the trust be handed over to them. Cops had to resort to lathicharge to diffuse the tension. Around 51 people were arrested. The college has been heavily secured with a large deployment of police since Monday .

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