Patna: Fearing protests by teachers on contract, or para-teachers, administration in Jharkhand’s Palamu has banned black clothes, sweaters, blazers, handbags, and socks and has also made photo identity cards mandatory for those attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jharkhand on January 5. (Also read: ‘This Chowkidar Will Send Thieves to Their Right Place,’ Warns PM Modi)

The order issued by Palamu SP Indrajit Mahatha covered shoes as well but after the order drew criticism, police have decided that black shoes would be allowed.

Mahatha’s order to deputy commissioners in Latehar, Garhwa, Chatra and Palamu, states, “…PM is scheduled to travel to the district on January 5. Those who are coming to attend the function should be instructed in advance not to wear black dress to the function venue and everyone must carry their identity cards.”

The order has been issued to avoid protests by para-teachers who had waved black flags at Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das during a function in Ranchi last month. The protesters were demanding regularisation of jobs and pay parity with government teachers. Some reports suggested a PM Modi event had also witnessed thousands of para-teachers waving black flags.

“We have to take care of the dignity of guests…There will be no restriction on black shoes though,” SP Mahatha was quoted as saying by a leading daily.

“We have held meetings with functionaries of some teachers’ associations, who have assured us that they will not hold any protest at the PM function,” another officer said.

Earlier, in July 2018, people wearing black or carrying any black cloth on them were kept out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Jaipur. The restriction was put in place for the same reason; to rule out any chance of a protest at the venue.

Policemen checked people for any piece of black cloth and anyone wearing a black shirt was not allowed in. In March, a group of people at the Prime Minister’s rally in Jhunjhunu had waved pieces of black cloth while shouting slogans against then Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.