Three Years Jotna Protest Turns Violent
The Sunday protest which was expected to be peaceful following the agreement between the government and the pressure group ‘Three Years Jotna’ has turned violent at Sting Corner.
The civil society groups led by TANGO has succeeded in ending a looming tension last week, following defiant of the movement that it will protest despite police refusal to grant them permit to do so.
In the agreement, both the ‘Three Years Jotna’ movement and the government agreed to maintain peace and order, with the government consenting to order the police to issue permit which warrants today’s protest. The members of the movement had also declared it has no interest in forcing President Barrow to resign.
Recently, the police issued the permit to the movement clearing them to hold procession from the traffic light junction in Bakau to the Independence Stadium.
However, protesters were gathered at Sting Corner on the Banjul highway on Sunday morning. Some of them were heard stating Barrow to resign as he promised during the build-up process of the coalition.
How it turned violent
The police were also stationed at Sting Corner where they put up a metallic barrier across the road to prevent the protesters from passing towards the city.
This has led to firing or tear gas from the police end which fuelled the gathering into tension. In reaction, the protesters also started firing stones at the police leading to the standoff. At the time of writing this report, angry protesters were burning motor-tyres across the Banjul highway.
Several arrests were made
The Chronicle reporter on the ground has witnessed the arrest of at least 5 protesters. The police spokesperson was contacted for confirmation but he was not taking calls at the time.
Police eventually cancels permit
“Following the violation of conditions of the permit issued to the ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna Movement’ and protesters turning violent, the Office of the Inspector General of Police hereby informs the public that the permit is cancelled,” the statement states.
“By this notice, individuals at the protest venue are advised to disperse peacefully. Equally, other individuals who may wish to join the protest are advised to stay home until the situation is put under control. The cooperation of the general public is highly solicited,” it warns.
The Chairman of ‘Three Years Jotna’ was contacted for reaction but he did pick the telephone call.