Close to 441 locals have been identified and were asked to sign bonds of Rs 5 lakh if they disrupt the tranquillity. Panicked over the warnings, 70 Muslim families have left the area.
Kanwar yatra, the annual pilgrimage which is undertaken to get rid of the negative energy, has gotten mired in controversies over certain untoward incidents. The politically crucial Uttar Pradesh has witnessed law-and-order issues surrounding the Yatra in Greater Noida and Bulandshahr. In an apparent measure to prevent any possible clashes, the state police has donned the role of a football or hockey referee by issuing “red cards” to people who might “create trouble”, according to Indian Express report.
“We have secret information that during the Kanwar yatra you might create trouble…with this red card we are informing you that if you create any trouble during the Kanwar yatra, action will be taken against you. You will be held accountable,” police have warned around 250 residents, including Muslims and Hindus, at Khelum village in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh.
Close to 441 locals have been identified and were asked to sign bonds of Rs 5 lakh if they disrupt the tranquillity. Panicked over the warnings, 70 Muslim families have left the area. Notably, the area saw violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims during which 12 civilians and 15 security personnel got injured. Multiple FIRs were also registered which had accused 29 Muslims and 14 Hindus respectively, according to the IE report.
The road through which Kanwarias are scheduled to pass has mostly Muslim population and most of the shops are shut and roads look deserted.
Talking of the unusual move, Bareilly SSP Muniraj G said, “The red card is not legally valid. Most of the people from both the communities who were asked to sign a bond were issued red cards to let them know that they are under our surveillance.” He also claimed that Muslims “could have left for their own work”.
Bareilly District Magistrate (DM) also assured that innocence won’t be punished. “It has come to our knowledge that people have locked their houses and left the village. They fear that if there is any kind of violence they will be falsely implicated. This mentality has been created by some people. We have assured them that no action will be taken against anyone not involved, but they have not listened,” the DM said.