VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam police on Saturday said that the circular issued by the commissioner of police a few days ago was intended to provide protection to all religious places, not churches alone.
The police clarified that there was a ‘clerical error’ in the memo and the same was rectified immediately. A revised one was issued the same day and circulated among the officials concerned.
It may be recalled that on July 4, Commissioner of Police RK Meena had issued a circular asking all station house officers (SHOs) to take measures to prevent physical attacks on churches and Christians in the jurisdiction of the commissionerate. The circular drew criticism from various sections for allegedly singling out people and places of worship of one particular community for protection. The Dharmik Cell of the BJP even threatened to launch an agitation if the circular was not withdrawn.
At a press meet on Saturday, DCPs of Zone I and Zone II, Ranga Reddy and Uday Bhaskar respectively, said that the circular issued by the city police commissioner on measures to be taken for protection of places of worship, had a few clerical errors. Ranga Reddy reiterated that the circular was aimed at providing protection to all religious places, not just churches alone.
They said in the wake of terror attacks on churches in Sri Lanka, a citizen, Daniel, had approached Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy during the weekly Spandana programme, seeking protection to religious places.
The CM issued orders to the Police Commissioner to take measures to protect religious places, he clarified.
“The memo which had clerical errors was issued on July 4 to ACPs without proper checking. But, the same day, we had released a revised memo and sent the same to all sub-divisional officers. Unfortunately, the memo with errors was leaked by someone and it was circulated on the social media,’’ Uday Bhaskar said.
Ranga Reddy said police force was secular and impartial. Police will provide security at churches during Christmas, at mosques during Ramzan and at temples during Hindu festivals,” he said.