21 April 2023 2:31 PM GMT
The Gujarat High Court on Friday expressed its satisfaction with the submission made by the Gujarat Government that it has taken sufficient steps to avoid mob lynching or any communal disturbance during the celebrations of the festivals and that its forces shall remain vigilant during such festivals.In its affidavit submitted before the HC, the state government submitted that it has, inter...
The Gujarat High Court on Friday expressed its satisfaction with the submission made by the Gujarat Government that it has taken sufficient steps to avoid mob lynching or any communal disturbance during the celebrations of the festivals and that its forces shall remain vigilant during such festivals.
In its affidavit submitted before the HC, the state government submitted that it has, inter alia, banned the usage of Loud Speakers, and DJs and has issued instructions to all the organisers and participants not to use objectionable content through Public Address System/DJs/Loud Speakers during processions.
Several other submissions were also made including the stepping up of Police Patrols covering important areas, keeping reserves at strategic locations well equipped with vehicles, lathi-helmets, body protectors, tear smoke ammunitions, rubber bullets, VARUN (water cannon), VAJRA (automatic tear smoke launch vehicle), communication systems under the leadership of PSI/PI/Dy.SP/SP to respond to any incident and to take control of the situation
Finding the safety arrangements to be satisfactory, the bench of Acting Chief Justice AJ Desi and Justice Biren Vaishnav directed the state government to issue similar types of instructions/security arrangements for other festivals also which will be celebrated in the state in the future.
With this, the Court disposed of a PIL plea filed before it seeking strict security arrangements during religious processions, ahead of the upcoming festivals of Eid and Parshuram Jayanti on April 22, to prevent any incident of violence in the State.
It may be noted that hearing the case on April 17, the Gujarat Government issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply on the PIL plea. In response to the same, the state government on Friday submitted that it is aware of the fact that many festivals are celebrated throughout the year by people following different religions and therefore all the police stations have been informed to take precautionary measures.
The state also submitted that the State Authorities are deploying not only local police, but, they are taking assistance from the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and the same helps to keep the peace during such festivals.
The High Court was further informed by the state that it has installed Cameras at various places across the state and that it has also earmarked the places of congregation and even, social media monitoring is also being done with the help of cyber crime police stations.
The Court was also apprised of the fact that Body Worn Cameras would be issued to the concerned officers and additional videographers have also been permitted at the concerned police stations where such festivals are celebrated and processions or congregations in the streets in the respective city and towns.
Lastly, the state government assured the Court that the State Authorities shall keep the force vigilant throughout the processions and more particularly when the processions are taken out in the streets of the city or town.
A specific submission was also made that in compliance with the Supreme Court's direction in the case Tehseen Poonawala versus Union of India, detailed instructions have been given by the Director General of Police, Gujarat State to field units to prevent mob lynching and violence.
The Court was further told that the Additional Director General of Police, CID (Crime & Railways), Gujarat State has been appointed as the State Level Nodal Officer and the Commissioners of Police/Superintendents of Police are appointed as City/District Nodal Officers, who will have the responsibility to collect intelligence, take preventive measures and respond to incidents of violence.
It was also submitted that communication has also been sent to all the Superintendent of Police (Law & Order), Gujarat State to all the City/District/GRP Units with instructions to make security arrangements based on the local requirements.
Against this backdrop, and following the assurance of the State Government, the Court stood satisfied with the safety arrangements put in place by the Gujarat government and hence, it disposed of the plea.
Case title - AZAJKHAN HAMIDKHAN PATHAN vs. STATE OF GUJARAT [WRIT PETITION (PIL) NO. 38 of 2023]
Case Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Guj) 75
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