Mumbai Police to closely surveil 13 'sensitive' spots around Mumbai on Ashura

Updated: Sep 29, 2016, 11:09 IST | Asif Rizvi

As part of heightened security measures till Ashura, city police has shortlisted 13 ‘sensitive’ spots and will be videographing all activity, along with other precautions

Shia Muslims during a procession on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, at JJ Junction in Mumbai. File picShia Muslims during a procession on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, at JJ Junction in Mumbai. File pic

Caution is the best precaution, and as the holy month of Muharram rolls around, the Mumbai police is going to dial up its caution ears. So much so, that till Muharram ends on September 13, the city police has shortlisted thirteen spots — four are in South Mumbai — that it believes are sensitive and planned a massive vigil there.

Plethora of ideas
In a preventive alert to at least 10 police stations, the Mumbai police has made several arrangements to avoid any untoward situation during the several processions across the city. The measures include using handycams to record all developments, deploying additional force from nearby police stations, cops being stationed at the sensitive spots in uniform and civil dresses, and round-the-clock police patrolling in the identified spots. Manoj Kumar Sharma, DCP Zone 1 confirmed the beefing up of security measures and said, “We have already started reviewing the preparations and conducting regular mohalla meetings with locals and prominent figures of the areas. Also, apart from the CCTV cameras, on the final day of processions, we will be videographing separately to keep a hawk’s eye on developments.”

Why choose 13 spots?
The preventive alert states that the past records of these spots, where tensions have historically prevailed, have qualified them to be included in the list. The spots have also been chosen as they usually attract large gathering of women, children and aged people.

“The police stations have been asked to keep a close watch on anti-social elements, most importantly, on rumour mongers,” said a senior officer from Zone 1. The local police has also been told to verify the arms licenses of the people residing in these areas.

“We have been asked to gather information from local sources if any one preparing to disturb the law and order situations. Strict and immediate actions against such people will be initiated,” added the officer.

Social media check
The cops will also keep a tab on social media messages and will be monitoring messages that could trigger tensions. The CCTVs will be used to monitor 24/7, with the control room minutely ensuring it responds to each call.

What is Ashura?
Ashura is the 10th day of the holy month of Muharram and the day of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussain’s martyrdom. Lakhs of Muslims commemorate the day by participating in a procession and some, even flaying themselves with chains and knives.

Deemed to be 'sensitive'
>> Peru Lane, Pathanwadi
>> Imamwada Road, BIT Chawl 
>> Ghade Chi Wadi, Dongri 
>> Dagrah Galli, Dongri 
>> Kapda Bazaar, Mahim
>> Mora Road, Dharavi 
>> BMC Colony, Shivajinagar 
>> Lotus Colony
>> Naupada Kabrasthan, Khar
>> Malwani Gate Numbers 2,3&7
>> Nityananad Nagar, Ghatkopar
>> Daruwala Masjid, Pipe Road
>> Kurla Jasmine Mill Road, Mahim

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