Kochi

Police pull out all the stops ahead of Ayodhya verdict

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Around 6,000 personnel mobilised for duty

The City police are brushing up on their riot handling skills as they gear up to ensure law and order and communal harmony, with the Supreme Court scheduled to pronounce its verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi litigation on Saturday.

A drill in riot handling for police personnel will be held at the Kalamassery Armed Reserve Camp on Saturday morning.

A full-fledged riot situation will be simulated with the personnel being split into rioters and the police team neutralising them using tear gas and supporting systems.

“The idea is to ensure that every single policeman in the city is well drilled in riot handling. After the drill for the first batch of around 100 police personnel on Saturday, similar drills will kick-start at every police station on Sunday,” said Inspector General of Police and District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare who will monitor the drill.

The police are also in touch with community leaders seeking their cooperation to ensure that communal harmony remains intact. A peace committee meeting to be attended by people’s representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders is likely to be held on Saturday. On the arrangements made in West Kochi considering that Mattancherry had witnessed communal violence in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition, Mr. Sakhare said special arrangements had been made not just in West Kochi but in all sensitive localities.

“There are clear instructions to clamp down on attempts to create troubles in the wake of the apex court verdict with an iron hand. No one will be allowed to instigate communal violence,” Mr. Sakhare said.

The Ernakulam Rural police have also made elaborate arrangements ahead of the verdict, mobilising around 3,000 personnel, in addition to another 3,000 mobilised by the Kochi City Police Commissionerate.

“We have requested the District Collector to assign an executive magistrate for every 34 police stations within the rural limits. Mobile patrol units have been deployed, and pickets are being set up at all sensitive locations. Station House Officers have been asked to convene peace meetings to be attended by all stakeholders from political party leaders to influential community members,” said K. Karthik, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural).

He added that social media would be closely watched all along, and anyone found engaged in rumour-mongering would be slapped with charges under the laws concerned.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 10:25:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/police-pull-out-all-the-stops-ahead-of-ayodhya-verdict/article29926726.ece

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