Tensions were high yesterday, as the remains of 1993 blasts convict Yakub Memon were flown to Mumbai and laid to rest at Bada Kabrastan in Marine Lines. To their credit, however, Mumbai Police rose to the challenge and did a commendable job keeping the city safe.
As the day of the hanging neared, the police began to prepare security plans. Cops analysed and identified 200 sensitive and 40 highly sensitive areas and put tightened protection in place there. Commissioner Rakesh Maria met with senior community leaders and asked for their help in maintaining peace.
Apart from communal tension, the cops were concerned about fake messages and images being circulated to instigate citizens. During the funeral procession, a few bogus photos of Yakub were circulated on WhatsApp. The police wasted no time in countering with their own message explaining that the pictures were not authentic and must not be forwarded. To curb further rumour-mongering, the force also set up a special cyber cell to monitor all social media sites.
Early on Thursday morning, cops were on the roads, at railway stations and bus stops in uniform in some areas and in plainclothes in the more sensitive areas. High-ranking officials, including top cop Maria, as well as joint commissioners, additional commissioners and DCPs were overseeing the protective measures. Maria was seen walking about, personally checking all the security arrangements.
The traffic department also did an excellent job ensuring that vehicular movement was smooth. Traffic cops were deployed in huge numbers across Bada Kabrastan, Marine Lines, and Mahim. Traffic was kept moving in an orderly manner, and no one was allowed to park their vehicles in the areas the funeral procession passed through.
Even in the midst of such a highly-charged situation, the police did a fine job and deserve a pat on their backs. The city thanks you, Mumbai Police.