Quick action helped prevent communal violence in Bulandshahr: Top cop
When angry protesters blocked the highway near Bulandshahr with alleged cow carcasses on a trolley on Monday morning, police forces quickly responded by opening alternative routes for the roughly 700,000 Muslims who were still present at a venue for a religious ceremony just 40km away.Updated: Dec 05, 2018 10:34 IST
Hindustan Times, Bulandshahr
Some political leaders might have blamed the Uttar Pradesh police for failing to quell clashes that singed Bulandshahr on Monday and left two two people dead, but the state’s top police officer says the security forces moved rapidly to prevent the violence from spiralling into a communal riot.
When angry protesters blocked the highway near Bulandshahr with alleged cow carcasses on a trolley on Monday morning, police forces quickly responded by opening alternative routes for the roughly 700,000 Muslims who were still present at a venue for a religious ceremony just 40km away.
Director general of police (DGP) OP Singh said the state police acted on the “larger picture” and contained what could have been a communal riot. “The situation could have been worse if local police officials had not responded in time as several lakh Muslims were present at the venue of the ‘Tablighi Ijtema’, a three-day Islamic congregation in the district,” he said.
He said senior police officials were already on alert and a huge police force was deployed in advance following the congregation. He said the congregation was over on Sunday, but between 600,000 and 700,000 people were present even on Monday when the violence broke out in Mahaw village following the alleged recovery of cow carcasses.
“The law and order situation could have worsened if Syana station house officer Subodh Kumar Singh, who sacrificed his life in the line of duty, and other officers had not reached the trouble spot immediately,” he added. He also said that police were scanning video footage to identify “anti-social elements”. “It was due to the efforts of the SHO (station house officer) and other local police officers that the violence was limited to Mahaw and two adjoining villages.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s west UP president Ashwini Tyagi said he never expected such extreme action and accused the state police of’ mishandling the situation. But Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said the police had acted in an unbiased manner and saved the state from a communal flare-up.
First Published: Dec 05, 2018 10:32 IST