An anti-terror mock drill in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad has sparked controversy after the dummy terrorists allegedly shouted slogans connected to a particular community. A police mock drill was held on January 11 in a temple in Chandrapur in Maharashtra. Local Muslim leaders said that during the mock drill, police displayed tricks to control terrorists. They alleged that during the mock drill, the police’s hatred for the Muslim community came out in public.
On the other hand, a group of lawyers has submitted a memorandum to the district police authorities on the issue, while Superintendent of Police Ravindrasingh Pardeshi on Sunday said all efforts would be taken to ensure such an error is not repeated, reported PTI.
The mock drill, which was conducted on January 11 at the renowned Mahakali Temple here, enacted a scene in which a group of terrorists took over a place of worship and held devotees hostage, before being apprehended by security forces.
A complainant told ANI, “Those playing the role of a terrorist shouted ‘Allah-Hu-Akbar’ during the mock drill, which we do not like. Muslims have become a soft target. Why are terrorists being shown as Muslims in mock drills? Why are you telling that a terrorist looks like this by putting on beard, moustache, kurta-pajama?”
आतंकवादी की भूमिका निभाने वाले ने मॉक ड्रिल के दौरान ‘अल्लाह हू अकबर’ का नारा लगाया, जो हमें पसंद नहीं। मुसलमानों को सॉफ्ट टारगेट किया जा रहा है। मॉक ड्रिल में मुस्लिम भेष क्यों दे रहे हैं? आप दाढ़ी, मूंछें, कुर्ता-पजामा डालकर क्यों बता रहे हैं कि आतंकी ऐसा दिखता है?: शिकायतकर्ता pic.twitter.com/0M9mWaWFO8
— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) January 22, 2023
“Videos of the drill showing the personnel who played the part of terrorists in the mock drill shouting particular slogans. This portrays one community in a negative light and makes one believe all terrorists are from this community,” said Farat Baig, part of the lawyers’ group here.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the office of the district SP against such sloganeering and portrayal. This act of the police amounts to defaming a community. Obviously, the script of the mock drill must have been overseen by the SP and other senior officials,” Baig said.
When contacted, SP Ravindrasingh Pardeshi said his department will “take necessary steps to ensure such an error is not repeated”. The mock drill was carried out by personnel from the local police, the Anti Terrorism Squad, the specialised combat unit C-60, among others, officials said.