NRC shadow over ‘routine’ cordon and search?

The concern and anxiety among citizens over the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register became palpable when residents of the Old City panicked and objected to the police asking them for documents, including Aadhaar card, during a ‘routine’ cordon and search operation.

The incident reportedly took place in the Syed Ali Chabutra locality, which comes under the Shalibanda police station limits, on Monday evening.

The video clip, which has since been widely shared on social media, shows Charminar Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislator Mumtaz Ahmed Khan intervening on behalf of locals.

Mr Khan then proceeds to inform the police officers that there are concerns in connection with the NRC, and objects to police allegedly instructing residents to produce Aadhaar cards, and claims that they are ‘harassing’ people. He then urges police to leave the area.

“The people are worried about NRC in the first place. What kind of cordon and search is this? Why are you asking for Aadhaar cards?” he says and then claims to have received 25 calls in this connection.

When contacted, Falaknuma Division Assistant Commissioner of Police M A Rasheed confirmed that the incident took place. “We began the cordon and search at 5 pm. The MLA came around 6 pm when we were about to finish. We asked them for vehicle documents, registration and driving licence,” he said.

When asked whether asking residents to produce Aadhaar cards was as per procedure, Mr Rasheed said, “We generally ask them for identification.”

Cordon and search operation has been an ongoing practice in the tri-commissionerates for the past few years to maintain law and order. Rowdy-sheeters have also been counselled as part of the initiative.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 5:00:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/nrc-shadow-over-routine-cordon-and-search/article30506551.ece

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