Mumbai: Cops and community leaders ensure city remains peaceful
From personal WhatsApp messages to meetings with community members ahead of the verdict and a weekend announcement, here's all that went into ensuring that Mumbai remained peaceful
Community leaders from South Mumbai pockets-Dongri, Mohammad Ali Road, JJ Marg, Nagpada—unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court verdict and urged residents in their area to maintain peace and tranquillity. A few thanked the Supreme Court for putting rest to a contentious issue which politicians often exploited. They also said it was a good idea to choose a non-working day to announce the verdict.
Mumbai saw elaborate security arrangements at major junctions, with police officials seen with riot gear. Social worker Ibrahim Tai, 71, the president of Muslim Council Trust, told mid-day that the top brass of Mumbai police, including the commissioner Sanjay Barve and the Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Vinoy Choubey had conducted multiple meetings with the community members and had asked them to 'maintain law and order in the city on the day the SC verdict is announced'.
"Mumbai was the worst affected in the '92 riots. Today, I shot a mobile video and circulated it in WhatsApp groups requesting people to maintain peace in the city. Besides this, I also sent a voice message to different people and groups requesting them to respect the SC verdict," said Tai, a resident of JJ Marg. "We don't want a repeat of the 1992 riots in which hundreds of innocent people died. I have carried many bodies on haath-gaadi during the riots," said Tai, who was a taxi driver at that time. "I had stopped driving the taxi for 15-20 days fearing untoward incidents. I witnessed heart-wrenching scenes, saw people running thirsty for blood on the road," he recalled. Fearing that Mumbai may witness a similar curfew-like situation with the verdict being announced, he has stocked enough groceries for a month.
Mohammad Hanif Abbas Mansuri says that on Wednesday, the Mumbai police commissioner assured them that law and order would prevail on the day of the verdict
Mohammad Shakeel Maniyar, 52, a mohalla committee member in Bhendi Bazaar, said, "The Divisional Assistant Commissioner of Police (Dongri) Avinash Dharmadhikari had called for a meeting with the peace committee as well as mohalla committee to discuss how we could help cops maintain law and order, and we successfully did it. An announcement was made in all the mosques after namaz to respect the Supreme Court verdict. We want everyone to celebrate the verdict."
Salman Kazi, another mohalla committee member from south Mumbai, said, "It is good that a contentious issue which politicians would exploit for polls has been resolved."
Mohammad Hanif Abbas Mansuri, 58, former corporator of ward number 220, said, "On Wednesday, the Mumbai police commissioner had attended a community function at Haj House and assured those present that he would not let the law and order deteriorate in the city."
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Jat community leader appeals for peace