UP govt declares 21 districts sensitive for Holi



Lucknow: A day ahead of Holi, Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday declared 21 districts, including Meerut, Aligarh and Faizabad as sensitive and asked the authorities to be extra vigilant across the state, an official said.

The government has asked the district magistrates and district police chiefs to be "extra vigilant" as the state has a history disturbances on the day of the festival. It warned of strict action against errant officials.

Meerut, Moradabad, Bareilly, Aligarh, Agra, Faizabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Azamgarh, Firozabad and Mau among others have been provided with additional security forces, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) R.K. Vishwakarma said.

"In all 39 companies of the provincial armed constabulary (PAC), 12 companies of rapid action force (RAF), 20 additional superintendent of police (ASPs), 2,000 plus police recruits and constables have been pressed into service for Holi," he said.

Twenty-one districts of the state has been declared as sensitive. With more than 27 communal riots reported in the last one year, the Samajwadi Party government of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is taking no chances.

"The chief minister has made it clear that no disturbance on the festival would be tolerated and that strict and punitive action would be taken against errant officials," a close associate of the chief minister said.

Officials have been asked to patrol areas of their districts while Holi is being played and ensure that "even a small incident is attended to and sorted out".

IANS