Noida erupted in violence on the first day of the Bharat Bandh on Wednesday with protesters vandalising hundreds of industrial units and damaging vehicles and property.
Having completely failed to gauge the situation before hand, the Noida Police had to work hard to control the situation but it did not prove enough as was evident by the magnitude of the damage.
The protesters fought pitched battles with the police in phase II. Despite receiving reinforcements from Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, the police presence remained too dismal to handle the situation.
The complete force attached to all six police stations in Noida was out on the streets. According to owners of the industrial units -- the worst sufferers in Wednesday’s violence --- the police did not pay heed to their demand for security made on Tuesday.
“The protestors outnumbered the police force. Most of the protesters were locals and they moved in groups, especially in phase II, to dodge the police. The police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to control the mobs,” said OP Singh, ADG (NCR).
A number of people were injured, none seriously. In fact, as per official estimates only one injured reached the hospital, who was discharged after first-aid.
The police admitted that it failed to read the gravity of the situation, saying the city does not have a “history of violence”.
ADG Singh claimed that the reinforcements took time to reach the spot.
Outnumbered and outflanked, the police did not even coordinate well to contain the violence.
Instead of planning to take pre-emptive measures, the Noida Police had planned a cyber safety seminar on Wednesday. All senior officers, attending the seminar, later rushed to the spots.
“Around 10:30 a.m, hundreds of goons entered our company premises. They broke around 90 cars and charred nine cars on our campus. They not only wanted to stop the work but they also looted our office. The mob took away whatever they could, including computers, laptops and office stationary. We called the police but only one gypsy came and that too fled after seeing the mob,” said Shahid of Motherson company at Hosiery complex in phase II.
Officials claim that protesters burnt CCTV cameras, installed at the campus, to escape identification.