A Facebook post is being widely shared on social media claiming that the Uttar Pradesh Authorities have decided to impose section 144 on valentine’s Day banning public gatherings and consumption of alcohol. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: UP Govt imposed section 144 on Valentine’s Day.
Fact: The implementation of Section 144 of CrPC in Lucknow and Gautama Buddha Nagar is not solely for Valentine’s Day. These restrictions have been in place since December 2022, extended till 10 March in Lucknow and 28 February in Gautama Buddha Nagar, for the purpose of maintaining order during various upcoming festivals such as Mahashivaratri, Holi, and Shab e-Barat. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Internet search with relevant keywords led us to a public notice issued by Lucknow Police Commissionerate on 10 February 2023. According to this notice, starting from 11 February until 10 March 2023, section 144 of CrPC, will be imposed in Lucknow city in view of the upcoming festivals like Mahashivaratri, Holi, Shab e-Barat etc. The order also imposed restrictions on various activities like public gatherings, prayers in public places, drone shooting near government buildings, usage of loudspeakers, etc.
However, the latest orders are an extension of previous orders that were issued earlier. On 10 December 2022, UP Govt issued an order implementing Section 144 till 10 January 2023 in Lucknow in view of festivities like New Year, Christmas, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanthi etc. And on 11 January 2023, they extended the same restrictions in view of the Republic Day, Makar Sankranti and several entrance examinations. Similarly, the Police Commissionerate of Gautam Buddha Nagar also has taken measures to regulate public gatherings, loudspeakers usage, bursting of firecrackers etc from 05 December 2022 to 02 January 2023. These restrictions were further extended from 07 January to 31 January, and then again from 04 February to 28 February.
To sum it up, UP authorities did not impose Section 144 specifically for Valentine’s Day, there has been a history of using this measure in various parts of UP during festivals and other situations to maintain law and order.