The Union home ministry of Indian Government has sent an advisory to all the states asking them to give topmost priority to maintaining law and order in view of the September 24 verdict of Allahabad high court. The central government has also asked TV channels not to air provocative news that might flare communal disturbances. On that day, the court is set to give verdict on the Ayodhya case. While governments are busy in taking precautionary measures, what is the role of an ordinary citizen / civic groups?
Guidelines for individual citizens
1. Be aware that Government is taking all precautions with respect to security of citizens.
2. But you should also know that despite government’s efforts, there could be trouble in your area.
3. Trouble, in case of any, will be created either by the supporters of aggrieved parties, or some other miscreants with political, sectarian interests.
4. It could be stone throwing, beating, destroying properties, abusing or some other way of physically / mentally harming the innocent people.
5. The incidents could be considered as small, very small or very small – but still it could create sufficient pain and anguish to those who are affected.
6. It may not be possible to get case registered in many of these cases. In most of these cases, it may not be possible to get justice. Sometimes the affected people will not even get the sympathy of the officials, police, elected representatives etc
7. Being cautions and avoiding getting hurt in about such incidents is the ONLY solution.
8. Consider the following points while you take the precautions
(a) Talk with your family members about the precautions to be taken.
(b) Talk to your neighbors – exchange telephone / mobile numbers
(c) Be prepared to take up additional steps along with neighbors in an emergency situation.
(d) Discuss with office bearers of residential association of your area. Ask them to be in touch with police, elective representatives and others.
(e) Offer your services to the residential association – think about night shifts, forming bigger groups etc
(f) Trust the government – Help the government and at the same time, prepare yourself to face any unfavorable situation.
(g) Report any provocative, intolerant incidents of your area to your neighbors, residential association and if required to police and elected representatives.
(h) Share your concerns with police and elected representatives – seek their help and advice.
Guidelines for Civic Groups (office bearers of residential associations)
1. Get in touch with police and elected representatives and ensure that precautions are taken about safety of residents of your area.
2. Ensure and plan for receiving quick help form the authorities.
3. Give tips to youth of your area to come for help in case of emergency – to help the protection of the rest of the people before the real help arrives.
4. Don’t panic residents – but make them aware of the forthcoming situation.
5. Propagate trust worthiness of the government – take responsibility of safety of residents of your association.
- Prepared in public interest by ‘Civic Alert’ group, Bangalore.