Uttar Pradesh police was prepared for all eventualities

Published - November 09, 2019 09:39 pm IST - New Delhi

Police personnel patrol near the Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya on November 9, 2019.

Police personnel patrol near the Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya on November 9, 2019.

The Uttar Pradesh administration had meticulously prepared for any possible fallout to Saturday’s verdict on the Babri Masjid- Ram Janmabhoomi litigation. The planning culminated in a seven-page directive sent by the Director General of Police (DGP) to all formations as early as October 10, a month before the verdict was announced. The police were asked to “identify real associates of police” among the public and directed to hold a dialogue with them on a regular basis.

Police in all the State’s 72 districts were asked to prepare a dossier against all criminal elements actively involved in incidents of communal tension in the past five years, and told to stock arms and ammunition in working condition in the police stations. The force was also told to store tear gas shells, pump action guns, anti-riot guns, chilli bombs, gas guns and rubber bullets in adequate quantity and directed to procure the required equipment immediately if they were found to be short of it.

“In wake of the impending verdict by Supreme Court in near future… stoking of communal tensions by certain elements cannot be ruled out. The verdict could hurt Hindus and Muslims and spontaneous reactions cannot be ruled out,” the DGP had written.

The police were given a free hand to book persons involved in spreading communal hatred and bitterness.

“Get the technical fitness of anti-riot vehicles checked and keep them in a working condition. Check the condition of fire hydrants in every police jurisdiction and ensure that in sensitive places they are available in good numbers. Make sure that anti-riot equipment like loud speakers, dragon lights, public address systems, body protectors, sticks” were available in adequate quantity, the State’s top cop wrote.

Stating that about 600 persons had been arrested over the past 10 days as a pre-emptive measure, DGP O.P. Singh said no major incident had been reported as of Saturday evening.

“The effective monitoring of social media resulted in blocking of 76 accounts and deletion of many objectionable posts. Around 3 lakh digital volunteers that includes students, engineers, teachers, were associated with us who passed on information about any mischievous post to police across social media platforms,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu . He added that the policing challenges would continue in the coming days.

Police also devised an application “C-Plan” to include select civilians from all villages and small towns and used it to directly communicate with people and block hateful rumours or messages in real time.

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