District-level committee formed to uphold religious harmony

Don’t fall prey to those fanning communal passions, Collector urges youth

A committee has been formed at the district-level to protect and uphold religious harmony and peace. The committee, to be headed by the District Collector as Chairman, has representatives of seven different religions. The committee will strive to initiate measures to prevent disruption of peace.

The committee met for the first time at the Collectorate here on Sunday. Later, addressing the media, District Collector V. Vinay Chand explained that the committee would take steps to prevent misunderstanding among the people following different religions. Describing the formation of the committee as a ‘right step in the right direction’, he called upon youngsters not to fall prey to those fanning communal passions. The ideas and suggestions of the heads of various religious groups were taken, he said.

Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha said that the representatives of seven religions participated in the first committee meeting and agreed to promote communal harmony by interacting with the people and creating awareness among them on the need to maintain peaceful relations. Students, the future citizens of India, would be told about the importance of maintaining harmonious relations with people following different faiths, he said.

Mr. Sinha said that committee would be a bridge between the people and the officials. There were around 1,600 religious places in the city. These include 1,223 temples, 263 churches, 95 mosques and a gurudwara. Of these, 631 places were covered by CC cameras. Wherever it was not possible to install CC cameras, the local committees would be asked to maintain ‘point books’. A police constable would visit all such places every night and write in the book after checking the place on a daily basis, he said.

85 police beats

There were 85 police beats in the city to visit different places during the nights. The services of local volunteers and private security would also be taken, the Police Commissioner said. Describing Visakhapatnam as a peaceful place, he said no communal violence had occurred in the city during the last five years. Around 40% of the religious places were covered by CC camera security.

Superintendent of Police (Visakhapatnam Rural) B. Krishna Rao said that there about 1,800 religious places in the district and about 350 of them have CC cameras. The night police beats were also providing additional security.

Joint Collector M. Venugopal Reddy was present.

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