Lucknow: In a strange move, the Shahjahanpur Police have covered about 43 mosques in the district with plastic sheets and tarpaulin to maintain law and order and communal harmony during traditional ‘Laat Saheb ka Juloos’ (Laat Saheb procession) on Holi.
A unique procession ‘Laat Saheb Ka Juloos’ is taken out every Holi in Shahjahanpur. Also known as ‘Joota Maar Holi’, a man posing himself as ‘Laat Saheb’ (A Britisher) sits on a buffalo cart with a garland of shoes around his neck.
The procession passes through sensitive areas where people first bow to Laat Sahe and then beat him with shoes and brooms to show their anger and hatred towards British rule in the country.
A few years ago, communal riots broke out after some miscreants threw shoes and colour on a mosque, falling on the procession route. To maintain law and order and communal harmony during the procession on Holi, the district and police administration ordered for covering 43 mosques falling en route of the procession.
The entire procession route has a mixed population and is very sensitive. A day before Holi, Shab-e-barat will be celebrated by the members of the minority community. Since the two festivals are falling together, the district administration is taking extra precaution to maintain communal harmony.
The Superintendent of Police S. Anand said that it was done as a precautionary measure so that no one makes an attempt to vitiate the communal atmosphere in the district.
“Drone cameras will keep a watch on Holi revellers and videography will be done to catch anyone trying to take law and order into hands,” said the SP.
Besides covering the religious places of minorities, the district administration also erected barricades so that no one goes near them to throw colour or raise any provocative slogans.
To check any untoward incident, the district administration has invoked prohibitory orders. A large number of ITBP, RAF, PAC and local police personnel will be deployed to maintain law and order during the procession.