An anti-terror mock drill by the Surat rural police triggered a controversy Wednesday as one of the two men posing as terrorists was wearing a skull cap, suggesting that the “attackers” belonged to a particular community. The person in question is a policeman.
Surat rural SP Pradip Shejul admitted “it was an avoidable mistake on part of the police.”
“We have been conducting mock drills at several locations to check police preparedness ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat summit (Jan 11-13). Today, the drill was held at a coastal location where a policeman posing as a terrorist was wearing a skull cap. It was avoidable,” Shejul said. He added that the intention “wasn’t to stereotype any community”.
“When it was pointed out to us, I said sorry,” he further said.
Responding to the incident, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Unfortunately the identity of this government is fast becoming a government which is using symbolic gestures, images, comments to create division... It is marked by intolerance... It’s a failed administration.”
Union MoS for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, denied the charges while a Gujarat BJP’s minority wing leader said “terrorism should never be linked to a particular religion”.