Trouble brewing, Ghaziabad top cop chose to cross border

Amil Bhatnagar

Police initiated criminal proceedings and several people were detained for making prank calls.

Heavy police deployment, Aman Committee meetings and constant vigil helped the Ghaziabad administration and police prevent incidents of rioting, despite violence ensuing at the border. Some Northeast Delhi areas, where clashes broke out, lie within a few kilometres of the Ghaziabad border.

Referring to an incident where the Ghaziabad Police crossed the border into Northeast Delhi to prevent a riot-like situation, officials said it was a “spontaneous” reaction.

“I was standing at the border as I had come for an unscheduled inspection. Women and children were looking at us from the balcony as people began to mobilise at that spot. We crossed the border to help the people and prevent a huge law and order situation. We didn't think about jurisdiction because it needed to be done at that point, and it was purely done for law and order reasons,” said Neeraj Kumar Jadaun, SP Rural, Ghaziabad.

According to police, homework of police layout had already been done during the time of the Babri Masjid verdict, which helped them identify sensitive locations and carry out police deployment.

In the last few days, the Ghaziabad administration received over 300 PCR calls, a majority of which turned out to be fake, officials said.

“Since the clashes erupted Sunday, we prepared a coordination plan with police to prevent any spillage into our district. One instruction we issued was to respond to every PCR call, no matter what its nature. We visited the Loni border, which lies near the Shahdara region, several times in a single day to ensure things are peaceful. We met several people from both communities and advised them to act with restraint,” said Ghaziabad DM Ajay Shankar Pandey.

Miscreants and anti-social elements made prank calls spreading misinformation to create a law and order situation in Ghaziabad, officials said. Police have initiated criminal proceedings and several people were detained for making prank calls.

The administration will be slapping the NSA against such accused, an official said.

“We took several decisions on the spot, including that of crossing the border. At a few points, we saw huge crowds gathering. Instead of waiting for Delhi Police, we crossed the border and took measures to stop the crowd from getting violent and entering other regions. I believe it also prevented the spread of violence,” said Pandey.

Over 2,500 police personnel have been deployed at border areas, including at Masuri and Muradnagar, since the clashes broke out. The Ghaziabad administration briefly sealed the borders, but the passage was soon cleared amid heavy checking.

The administration also held peace meetings with Aman Committees at various police stations in proximity with the border region, to ensure peace was maintained.