Surat: According to the Gujarat Police, two high-profile events in the state – Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and the Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit – could be a target of terror attacks, and in order to be prepared against any disruptive incidents, mock anti-terror drills are being carried out across Gujarat.
However, it looks like for the police, terrorists and terrorism are quintessentially Muslim.
In the diamond hub of Surat, the drill to check the preparedness of the force ran into controversy on Tuesday, when dummy terrorists in the drill were shown wearing Muslim skullcaps.
A video of the drill shows five policemen holding three dummy terrorists who are wearing Muslim skullcaps. The trio were also shown lying down, while policemen keep a watch on them. The video ends with the men posing as terrorists being bundled into a police jeep after being captured alive.
Surat (Rural) Superintendent of Police Pradip Shejul said the situation could have been avoided by the police but said it should be taken as a “pretty normal thing”.
He said: “We have been conducting mock drills at several locations to check the preparedness ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Today, it was held in a coastal location where a policeman posing as a terrorist was wearing a skullcap.”
He added that the incident was “avoidable” and said the intention was not to stereotype any community.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “Unfortunately, the hallmark, the identity of this government, is fast becoming a government which is using symbolic gestures, images, comments to create division… It is marked by intolerance which is another reason why the government is a failure. It’s a failed administration.”
Gujarat BJP’s Minority Cell president Mehboob Ali Sufi Baba strongly objected to the portrayal of terrorists in this manner.
“This type of act sends a wrong message to the masses,” Baba said.
(With PTI inputs)