Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has decided to deploy Rapid Action Force (RAF) in at least 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh that have been identified as ‘hypersensitive’ for the upcoming Holi festival.
Districts in the hyper-sensitive category include Agra, Aligarh, Prayagraj, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Bahraich, Balrampur, Bareilly, Bulandshahr, Ayodhya, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Kanpur Nagar, Lucknow, Mau, Meerut, Moradabad, Shravasti, Varanasi, and Sambhal.
ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said: “The move is to ensure that Holi is celebrated in a peaceful manner. There are 1.4 lakh spots across the state for the ‘Holika Dahan on the eve of the festival. Last year, 19 minor incidents were reported during this period.”
The officer added that since 2016, there has been a considerable decrease in such incidents. He said that measures have been taken to avert incidents pertaining to the festival.
“These include monitoring by drones, deployment of RAF, and dividing districts into categories of hypersensitive and sensitive,” the ADG said.
In these districts, companies of PAC have been deployed along with local forces and fire departments.
“Police chiefs of all these districts have been asked to maintain vigil and those who are accused in previous such incidents will be kept under watch,” the ADG said.
He also said that pending investigation in such cases must be prioritized by the police chief and the probe must be completed.
District police chiefs had been asked to be cautious about various processions that are a part of the Holi festivities.
For instance, in Shahjahanpur in Masitganj locality, on the day of Holi, a procession is taken out where a man is made to sit on a bullock cart wearing a garland of shoes and is sprinkled with colors.