This New Year’s Eve, Mumbai police to scan cyberspace for #CAA_NRC

The Hindu

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40,000 personnel to enforce bandobast across city

The Social Media Lab of the Mumbai Police will keep close watch on the cyberspace for any buzz regarding impromptu protests either in support or against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens this New Year’s Eve.

The city for the last 10 days has been witnessing agitations at several locations and social media platforms are being widely used to disperse information about upcoming protests to ensure maximum participation.

Senior police officers said no permissions have been granted for any protests on Tuesday. “We will be watching social media platforms to check if any such protests are being planned. If we do get to know about any such instance, we will first reach out to the organisers and try to dissuade them peacefully,” Vinoy Kumar Choubey, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), said.

He said if any group tries to go ahead with a protest despite warnings, the police station concerned will treat it as an illegal protest. Mr. Choubey said, “New Year’s Eve witnesses heavy footfalls all over the city till the early hours of the morning. We need to ensure the security of the protesters and also maintain law and order.”

Around 40,000 personnel will be on the streets to enforce bandobast from December 31 to January 1. Special focus will be on spaces like beachfronts and promenades, where people gather in large numbers. Party hotspots will be watched closely by a combination of on-ground personnel and the city-wide CCTV network.
Constant monitoring

Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Pranaya Ashok said, “Special teams and personnel in plainclothes, including women’s safety squads, will keep an eye all over the city. We will be using over 5,000 CCTV cameras to monitor the situation. Anti-sabotage measures are already in place.”

He said nakabandis will be put up in over 100 locations to prevent drunk driving and other traffic rule violations, and 2,400 personnel from the Mumbai Traffic Police have been pressed into service. Mr. Ashok said, “Permits allowing speakers till midnight on December 31 have been issued and the excise department has allowed hotels to serve alcohol till 5 a.m. on January 1, again with prior permission.”

The Crime Branch has been instructed to conduct on-ground intelligence gathering, while officers of the Anti Narcotics Cell will crack down on illegal drug consumption at revelries, according to sources.

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