Ahmedabad cops team up with villagers to quell rumours
AHMEDABAD: Rumour mills in central and north Gujarat have been in overdrive nowadays as the villagers are talking about everything ranging from ‘gang targeting women for rape’ to ‘fierce robbers’ and ‘incidents of brutality on people sleeping outside their huts.’ While the rumours have already claimed one life in Kuha village near Ahmedabad last week, other districts are bracing up to prevent the spread and identify the culprits.
On Tuesday, Virendrasinh Yadav, superintendent of police, Gandhinagar, convened a meeting of police officials and instructed them to keep a check on the rumours by contacting community leaders and strengthening security arrangements.
Talking to TOI, Yadav said that there were reports about a woman targeted by some members of a gang whose hair was cut. “We looked into such cases at Dabhoda and Pethapur but found it to be rumours,” he said.
Yadav said that they have devised the way to address the issue by involving the villagers. “Senior police officials are visiting each village in their jurisdiction, arranging meeting with sarpanches and community leaders and telling them that there is no reason to pay heed to such rumours. Now, a police sub-inspector would be on round all night and would visit all the villages in the vicinity. A group of five villagers would accompany a police team in patrol,” he said.
Additionally, teams of local crime branch (LCB) and special operations group (SOG) would keep an eye on miscreants and would also conduct independent patrol with police control room (PCR) vans. Equestrian force has also been roped in for patrol in interior areas, said officials.
Senior state police officials said that while the rumours have subsided considerably in Ahmedabad rural after the death of a mentally unstable man, different rumours are making rounds in Ahmedabad city’s peripheral areas, Gandhinagar district and many areas reaching up to Sabarkantha and Aravali where police forces are trying their best to convince the residents about safety and security against threats such as armed robbers.