Red warning cards being handed over to Muslims by the police have irked the community in Bareilly.
Terming it as a vindictive step,more than 100 such cards were recently returned to the Superintendent of Police (City) by Ataur Rehman,the Samajwadi Party MLA from Bahedi seat in Bareilly.
Nearly 1,300 red warning cards have reportedly been issued in Bareilly by name a majority of them Muslims mentioning that the person has been identified as a suspect for breach of peace during the month of Sawan and Ramzan. He is,therefore,being warned that any attempt by him or motivating others directly or indirectly for violating the law and disturbing peace of the city will result in strong legal action,the card further adds.
Bareilly is conidered a communally sensitive district. It witnessed communal clashes between the pilgrims of Kanwar Yatra and Muslims last year with curfew being imposed in the city for several days.
The police is spreading terror among the innnocent. Red warning cards are being issued even to those who are not living in Bareilly. It is a pick-and-choose policy. I have taken up the issue with the police and will approach the higher authorities, Rehman said.
He said preventive measures cannot be only for Muslims. We are not saying that those responsible for creating trouble in the past should not be warned. But hundreds of innocent people,who are not even remotely connected with the riots,have been issued red cards. It will not be tolerated, he said.
Sensing a resentment among the Muslims,District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash has asked the Additional District Magistrate (City) to verify the cards. Every red warning card will be reviewed and if they have been issued to any innocent person,it will be taken back, the DM said.
SP (City) Triveni Singh,however,said the cards have been handed only to those who have a history of involvement in violence,have a criminal record,were in jail for violating peace and had deposited personal bonds and are listed as anti-social elements. It is a preventive measure as Bareilly is a sensitive district, Singh added.
He admitted that SP MLA Rehman had returned several cards to him. The MLA gave the cards to me and after checking we have returned them. We are verifying the cards issued by the local police station, he added.