Ghaziabad: No internet for 24 hours as police prepare to check ‘violent stir’
The district administration, on Thursday, suspended internet services in Ghaziabad for 24 hours—from 10pm on December 26 to 10pm on December 27—as a precautionary measure. All government and private service providers have been directed to suspend internet services—on the cellphone and lease lines—during this period, failing which the violator will likely face legal action under Section 188 (disobedience of order promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
“Internet has been suspended as a precautionary measure. Law and order situation is under control and no untoward incident is expected on Friday, like the ones which took place last week. There is heavy deployment of police force in sensitive areas, which we have identified,” district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said, adding that internet has already been suspended in neighbouring districts, including Meerut, to prevent spreading of rumours or inflammatory messages.
Earlier, internet services were suspended in Ghaziabad for 24 hours starting December 19 night. The step was taken after protests against the new citizenship law turned violent in PSC Chowk (Kaila Bhatta), three places in Muradnagar and Pasonda in Sahibabad, among others.
According to officials, they have identified several sensitive areas including Kaila Bhatta, Shaheed Nagar, Dasna, Masuri, Muradnagar and Loni, where extra precautionary measures have been put in place.
Meanwhile, officials added that they have identified 53 persons who will act ‘shanti doots’ (messengers of peace) during protests. Officials said these 53 persons have been identified through last week’s videos, shot by the police.
“These 53 people are those who were clearly seen pacifying the public and were helping in prevention of any build-ups. So, they have been tasked to help authorities to see that there is no escalation in wake of any fake messages or rumors. More such people will be identified per area,” Pandey said.
The administration and police have also increased the number of video cameras and photograhphers deployed with the police force in sensitive areas. The pictures and video shot by the police last Friday helped get pictures of rioters. These pictures were published on hoardings and put up in public places, officials said.
“All police stations and local intelligence units in the district have been put on alert and police response vehicles (PRVs) are doing the rounds, especially in sensitive areas. Though there are no inputs about any conspiracy or build-up, we are being cautious,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sudhir Kumar Singh said.
“We have plugged all gaps we found in our policing last Friday. In case any person is found involved in rioting or violence, they will be booked under the Gangster Act and will face strict legal action,” SSP added.
After last week’s violence, the Ghaziabad police registered seven FIRs in which 304 persons were named, while 4,850 unidentified were booked under different IPC sections, including for attempt to murder, rioting, violation of prohibitory orders and attacking policemen.