Shaken by various incidents of disputes over trivial issues leading to communal violence in many places, the state police department has convened a meeting of district police officials and head of various police departments of October 5 and 6.
The purpose of the meeting is to instil confidence among the cops and tell them how they should use the techniques to manage the unruly mob.
The meeting assumes importance in view of the fact that a number of festivals are in the offing.
Ever since the Samajwadi Party came to power in the state six months ago, seven incidents of communal violence have taken place leaving 14 persons dead and property worth crores destroyed.
What worried the police officers was the systematic pattern of these riots. When the police controlled riot at one place, it erupted at another place.
The incidents of communal violence began with the clash between two communities at Kosi Kalan in Mathura district. Later, the members of two communities clashed in Pratapgarh. In Bareilly, the violence continued for nearly a month. The agitation in protest against the attack on minority community in Assam led to violence in Lucknow, Allahabad and Meerut.
At majority of the spots even before the police force could get their act together, the anti-social elements surprised them with swift action. In Ghaziabad, a mob armed with sophisticated arms attacked the Masuri police station. “The attack looked well-planned,” said a police officer and added, “a probe has been ordered into the incident”. The central intelligence agencies have warned the state police of communal tension prevailing in some districts that might flare up.
“With festivals starting in mid-October, there is a need to gear up the police force to tackle the anti-social elements that are trying to disturb the communal harmony in the state”, said a senior police officer. “The preparation for the festival would be also reviewed in the meeting,” the officer added. Talking to HT, state DGP AC Sharma said, “Clear instruction would be given to the district police officers not to change the route of the religious processions. The organisers would have to give in writing about the route and the programme organised by them. No amendment would be permitted in the programme. Action would be taken against the organisers if they try to breach the rule,” the DGP added.
The police department has also planned to gear up the intelligence network. Sleuths of local intelligence units have been told to pass the information about the activities of the anti-social elements in their respective areas immediately. The senior officers will monitor the activities of the junior officers regularly and ensure that instructions given to them were followed.