Maharashtra: Court Restrains Police from Showing Muslims as Terrorists in Mock Drills

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The petitioner claimed such mock drills showed bias and prejudice against the Muslim community and sent a message that terrorists belong only to a particular religion.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra Police not to conduct mock drills depicting persons of a particular community as terrorists.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), the bench of justices MS Patil and SG Chapalgaonkar also directed the public prosecutor to apprise the court about the guidelines for holding mock drills.

The PIL was filed by social activist Sayed Usama. It alleged that the mock drills being conducted by the police department depicted attire and slogans to indicate the terrorists were Muslims.

The PIL claimed that a mock drill conducted on the eve of Makar Sankranti in Ahmednagar city had a cop playing the role of a terrorist who was dressed in an attire most prominently worn by Muslim men. Later, when he was “nabbed”, he was seen shouting “Nara-e-Takbeer, Allah-o-Akbar” thereby depicting that the terrorist was a Muslim, the petition stated, media reports said.

The petitioner claimed such mock drills showed bias and prejudice against the Muslim community and sent a message that terrorists belong only to a particular religion.

The PIL took exception to three mock drills held at Ahmednagar, Chandrapur and Aurangabad districts.

“The petitioner, who is a social activist, apparently a Muslim, has raked up the issue involving public interest. He takes exception to the conduct of mock drills by the police department depicting attire and the slogan shouting as if to indicate that the terrorist is a Muslim,” the court said.

The court, while posting the matter for further hearing on February 10, said, “Till the next date, no mock drills shall be conducted depicting persons of a particular community as terrorists.”

Mock drills are conducted by the police to test their preparedness to deal with a variety of emergencies, including terror attacks.

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