MANGALURU/BENGALURU: The Karnataka Home Department has a hawk’s eye on citizens in view of the impending Supreme Court verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. It has even directed police commissioners and superintendents of police to intercept phone calls of “suspect elements” and to monitor social media platforms. The Apex Court is expected to deliver the verdict before November 17.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai told TNIE, ‘’We have taken precautions to maintain law and order across the state. We have spoken to all important community leaders and members of both sides and we have received a positive response from them. All sides are cooperating.’’A senior police officer in Mangaluru said a directive was received from the higher-ups to keep a close watch on the activities of people on the radar.
Phones of people with suspicious background will be tapped: Raichur SP
A senior police officer in Mangaluru said also said that phone calls of communal elements and people who are known to disrupt peace will be intercepted and calls recorded. To a question on the possibility of the state misusing this, he said norms have been tightened.Raichur Superintendent of Police C B Vedamurthy too said phones of people with ‘suspicious background’ will be tapped and calls will be centrally monitored by the state Home Ministry. The police will also be constantly monitoring social media.
“Platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter accounts will be monitored,” he added. The SP urged people not to indulge in any kind of hate-mongering.Retired DG&IGP Shankar Bidari told The New Indian Express, such monitoring happens when sensitive developments are unfolding. The police department monitors calls of elements who can cause harm to society.
“This is a normal exercise and there is no need to be worried. The police resort to this exercise to maintain peace and tranquility,” he added.In Bengaluru, Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), City Armed Reserve (CAR) and paramilitary personnel have been deployed across the city.
“We have taken all precautionary measures and have held meeting with community groups. They have assured that they will not celebrate or oppose the verdict and also informed us that they will not give scope for any untoward incident,” said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao.