LUCKNOW POLICE has removed two banners it had put up at 5, Kalidas Marg — the residence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — prohibiting people from taking photos and selfies in the area. The banners, displayed on both the entrances of the CM’s house about a month ago, were removed on Wednesday night.
The move comes after the Adityanath government was targeted on the social media over the issue recently. Former CM Akhilesh Yadav, too, tweeted: “Gift to people on New Year by the state government. Taking selfie can invite UPCOCA.”
The banner read: “Iss VIP chhetra me photo kheenchna va selfie lena dandniya apradh hai. Atah aisa karte hue pakde jaane par sakht karyawahi ki jayegi (Taking photos and selfies are a punishable crime in this VIP area. Those caught will have to face strict action).”
“The banners were put up for security purposes around a month ago but were removed on Wednesday night after it became an issue on social the media and the TV channels,” said SP (East) Sarvesh Kumar Mishra.
“As this is a common road and there is no restriction on movement, passers by used to stop and take photos and selfies. When someone was caught taking a photo, it was found they were outsiders… security personnel suspect why they were taking photos,” he added.
Mishra said the banners were put up on the directives of Gautampalli police Station Officer (SO) Ambar Singh. “All VIP residences are located on that route… this makes it a sensitive area from the security point of view. At times when guards try to stop people, they argue where is it written that they cannot take photos. Therefore, the SO thought they should display such banners,” Mishra said.
When contacted, the SO said: “The banners were installed around a month ago for security purposes, as people used to come and take photos there. It is a high security zone. But on Wednesday, a journalist told me that this is on social media… When I called SP (City), he suggested that I remove the banners.”
The SP said that though the banners have been removed, they would seek instructions over strengthening of security on Kalidas Marg.