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Section 144, Unlawful assembly & Curfew


Shamim Ansary:
Unlawful assembly is a legal term to describe a group of people with the mutual intent of deliberate disturbance of the peace. If the group are about to start the act of disturbance, it is termed a rout; if the disturbance is commenced, it is then termed a riot. In California, an unlawful assembly is also "whenever two or more persons assemble together to do an unlawful act, or do a lawful act in a violent, boisterous, or tumultuous manner".

Section 144

Section 144 is a section of Indian/Pakistani and Bangladeshi Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits assembly of five or more persons, holding of public meetings, and carrying of firearms and can be invoked for up to two months. It also gives the magistracy the power to issue order absolute at once in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger. With the introduction of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in 1976, Section 144 has ceased to operate in the metropolitan jurisdiction in Bangladesh.

A curfew refers to one of the following:

1. An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time. It can be imposed to maintain public order (such as those after the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the 2005 civil unrest in France and the 2010 Chile earthquake), or suppress targeted groups. Curfews have long been directed at certain groups in many cities or states, such as Japanese-American university students on the West Coast of the United States during World War II, African-Americans in many towns during the time of Jim Crow laws, or people younger than a certain age (usually within a few years either side of 18) in many towns of the United States since the 1980s; see below. Some jurisdictions have also introduced "daytime curfews" that would prevent high school-age youth from visiting public places during school hours or even during immediate after-school hours.

2. An order by the legal guardians of a teenager to return home by a specific time, usually in the evening or night. This may apply daily, or is separate per occasion (especially concerning dating), or varies with the day of the week (earlier on a so-called school night, i.e., if the minor has to go to school the next day).

3. A daily requirement for guests to return to their hostel before a specified time, usually in the evening or night with a doorman during the night, and improves quietness at night.

4. A metal cover for shielding a banked or unattended fire.

5. In baseball, a time after which a game must end, or play be suspended. For example, in the American League the curfew rule for many years decreed that no inning could begin after 1 A.M. local time(except if its an international game).

6. In aeronautics, night flying restrictions may restrict aircraft operations over a defined period in the nighttime, to limit the disruption of aircraft noise on the sleep of nearby residents. A notable example are the London airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, which operate under the Quota Count system.

7. In a few locations in the UK patrons of licensed premises may not enter after a "curfew" time. In Inverclyde for example this is currently set at 1130pm. (This will be reviewed by the Inverclyde Licensing Board on 25 February 2010 after a Facebook campaign stirred interest amongst the local population )


The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre feu" which means "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted by the Medieval English language as "curfeu", which later became the modern "curfew"

(This article only describes one highly specialized aspect of its associated subject. Please help improve this article by adding more general information)

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