Following violence in many parts of Haryana and Punjab by Dera Sacha Sauda sect members, police has been put on high alert in the districts of western Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Friday evening. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have also been clamped as a precautionary measure in Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, and Noida, adjoining Delhi.
Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar told IANS that vigil has been stepped up on the borders and police has been asked to identify possible rioters who might try to sneak into UP and foment trouble. Officials have also been asked to remain in touch with the management of Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram in Baghpat, he said. “Local authorities have been assured that there would be no violence on their part,” the top ranking Home Department official added.
Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ministhy S. Nair, while proclaiming the enforcement of preventive measures in the district, said initially the prohibitory measures would be in place for two weeks and the situation would be reviewed later. Prohibitory orders have also been enforced in Gautam Budh Nagar district comprising Noida and Greater Noida.
Noida District Magistrate B.N. Singh said Section 144 was already in place and in view of the developments in the adjoining state, it has been extended. Security has been beefed up in all western UP districts and a state of high alert has been declared especially in Baghpat where the sect has an ashram in Barnava. Magistrates and extra police force have been deployed on the border of Haryana.
Thousands of Dera followers have already left for Sirsa and Panchkula earlier in the day. Vehicles are being checked on the border and a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and Circle Officer (CO) has been posted on the Niwada check post. District authorities said they are being extra vigilant and all measures were in place to ensure that violence does not spill into the UP side. Ambulances and fire tenders have also been put on alert so that in case of any emergency they could come in handy, an official said.