Ahmedabad cops ask people to keep windows, doors shut on Amit Shah's visit; residents wonder why

Residents of Ahmedabad’s Vejalpur area were left in a tizzy when the city police asked them to keep their windows and doors closed for security reasons in view of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit there.

Shah was to inaugurate a community hall in Vejalpur and a police circular asked people in residential societies facing the venue to shut themselves in their homes.

A Gujarati TV channel reported a woman resisting this move by the police stating that she had asthama and she won’t keep the windows closed. The middle-aged complained that she felt suffocated with her home shut.

The circular was issued by Vejalpur Police Station Inspector LD Odedra to the residents of Swaminarayan Swati society and other societies around the Vejalpur community hall to keep windows and doors closed between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The circular in Gujarati, a copy of which is with Free Press Journal, states, “Union Home Minister Amit Shah is arriving here to inaugurate the Vejalpur community hall. Since he is a Z+ security protectee, we request all residents to shut down their windows and doors facing the hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.”

When contacted, the inspector told mediapersons that this was just a request and not an order. He said the purpose was to ease the surveillance for the police force. If the windows and doors facing the hall were shut, it the security monitoring would be that much easier.

Odedara denied that he had any such instruction from the top and that this was his request to the people.

Shah is on a three-day Gujarat visit, during which he would also attend the century-old Jagannath Rath yatra to be held in Ahmedabad on Monday.

Police sources revealed that though the rath yatra had been kept a low-key affair in view of the Covid-19 situation and the crowds won’t be allowed, a mammoth police force of 23,000 would oversee the yatra through the walled areas of Ahmedabad. “There are going to be only three to four raths, but there is huge security. Even drones have been banned, while a curfew has been clamped in the walled city areas of Ahmedabad,” an official said, requesting anonymity.

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Free Press Journal