India Outrage Against Terror Drills by Police

India Outrage Against Terror Drills by PoliceIndia Outrage Against Terror Drills by Police

Mock anti-terror exercises conducted by police in the state of Gujarat have sparked widespread condemnation in India. The security drills in PM Narendra Modi’s home state used fake terrorists dressed as Muslims.

A video of a drill in Surat district showed police restraining men wearing long tunics and white skullcaps. Muslim leaders have called the videos “atrocious and highly condemnable,” BBC reported.

Critics say the videos stereotype Muslims, who make up nearly 14 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion population.

After the videos were shown on Indian TV channels, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel admitted that the exercise was “a mistake”.

“It’s wrong to link religion with terrorism. The issue has been resolved and the matter should be put to rest now. The mistake has been rectified,” the chief minister said.

Police initially tried to brush off the criticism, saying the skullcaps were used “to give them a different look”, but they later apologized saying it was an “avoidable situation”.

  Web Blocking

A government block on more than 30 high-profile websites has caused anger across India. The country’s Department of Telecoms ordered the blocking of the sites in order to prevent the publicizing of “jihadi activities”.

After considerable pressure, four of the sites were unblocked. Officials said the other sites would have their blocks lifted if they complied with local law.

The Indian Ministry for Communication and Information Technology said in a statement, “It was stated that Anti National group are using social media for mentoring Indian youths to join the Jihadi activities.”

It went on to say that the primary concern was that users posting material on the sites did not require any authentication, and that identities could be hidden.

Pranesh Prakash, from the India-based Centre for Internet and Society, said: “Any intelligent person can see these sites don’t incite terrorism.”