Security Beefed Up Ahead of Friday Prayers in Violence-hit Kanpur, Section 144 Imposed

Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the city ahead of Friday prayers and Section 144 of CrPC, which restricts assembly of more than four persons, has been imposed, police officials said on Thursday. Personnel from Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Quick Response Team have been deployed in Muslim-dominated pockets, a senior police official said.

Violence had erupted in parts of Kanpur after Friday prayers last week between members of two communities over attempts to shut shops in protest against controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. According to the officials, Kanpur district magistrate Vishak G Ayyar and police commissioner Vijay Singh Meena also held a meeting with religious leaders, including Muslim clerics and Hindu priests, to take them into confidence.

The clerics and priests have been asked to persuade the members of their respective communities to maintain peace, they said. It has been decided to make deployment of police personnel on the rooftops of the high-rise buildings and all the subordinates and station heads have been asked to ensure round-the-clock patrolling and take precautionary measures to maintain law and order in their respective jurisdiction, Meena said while elaborating on the arrangements made for Friday.

The route march was carried out in violence-hit areas, including Yateem Khana and Parade, where panic had gripped last week, he added. Meena also urged the people not to take the law into their hands by reacting to rumours on social media having the potential to incite violence. Stern action will be taken against the rumour-mongers and those who try to disturb the law and order, he said.

Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in sensitive areas, the district police chief said, adding that police are keeping a close vigil with drone cameras.

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