The Shivaji Nagar police came up with a smart way to keep a watch on troublemakers in Govandi, one of the worst-affected areas in the city when the Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992.
The police identified potential rabble-rousers in the area and involved them in attempts to maintain peace after the judgement in the Ayodhya land title suit on Thursday afternoon. The police felt this would deter these people from indulging in violence.
“We tried involving people who could have created some mischief in the area after the judgement,” senior police inspector, DS Jodgudri, said. “We also took the help of members of both communities and members of all political parties to ensure peace in the area.”
Suspicious elements, some of whom have criminal records, were given identity cards to be pinned to their shirts. The cards bore the stamp of the Shivaji Nagar police with the signature of the senior police inspector.
“We had given all the members a token identity card with the signature of the senior police inspector to ensure that they did not face problems anywhere,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
These people were then made part of the Police Mitra va Shaantata [Police Friends and Peace] Committee.
Members of this committee were stationed at various spots in and around Govandi and other parts of Shivaji Nagar. The job of the committee was to ensure no untoward incident took place in the area and to inform the police in case of an emergency.
The committee, with the local miscreants as part of it, helped police personnel present in Shivaji Nagar in large numbers maintain calm.
Jodgudri said the plan worked because the area was peaceful and no violence was reported.