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  India   Rumours may be new terror tool in poll-bound UP

Rumours may be new terror tool in poll-bound UP

Published : Oct 20, 2016, 2:49 am IST
Updated : Oct 20, 2016, 2:49 am IST

Intel agencies warn of strategy to trigger stampede in crowded places.

Intel agencies warn of strategy to trigger stampede in crowded places.

Terror outfits planning a strike in Uttar Pradesh during the ongoing festive season and political events may have a different plan up their sleeves this time.


According to intelligence agencies, there is information that instead of using explosives, terror groups may resort to rumour mongering in crowded places and trigger off stampede like the one that took place last week in Varanasi.

“We have definite information that this could be the latest modus operandi of terror outfits. In Varan-asi, eyewitnesses claim that a rumour of the bridge cracking up led to the stampede. This kind of rumours trigger panic in crowded areas and many lives are lost without even firing a bullet,” said a senior official in an intelligence unit.

Intelligence agencies are now sharing the information with security agencies and efforts are being made to ensure crowd management in political meetings, weekly markets and local fairs that attract huge crowds.


“The Diwali markets, Chhat Puja, Dev Deepawali in Varanasi and the ongoing Dewa fair are events where people come in thousands and even the slightest provocation can lead to an ugly situation,” the official said.

Police officials have suggested barricading and separate entry and exit points, but making people follow the rules strictly is a Herculean task, especially during the festival season.

Intelligence sources said that according to their information, some of the rumours that could be used to trigger a stampede have been identified.

“False information of a terror attack in another part of the city, caving in of steps on the ghats, sudden rise in water level, major fire caused by explosion and a bomb attack on a monument could be rumours that can create panic movement in the public,” the official said.


He added that the local police had been asked to set up public address system in all such crowded places and keep a close eye on public movement. In event of any panic movement, the public address system should be used to convince the people that all is well.

Another input received by intelligence agency is that terrorists could cut off fuel pipes of vehicles parked in parking lot, thereby allowing fuel to flow out freely. Even a small lighted matchstick can then trigger off a major explosion in the area.

One such incident recently took place in the Civil hospital in Lucknow but an alert visitor smelt petrol and informed the hospital authorities after which the police was called in. The fuel pipes of about half a dozen cars and two dozen two wheelers were found cut and the entire area was sanitized and washed to remove traces of fuel. “This could have been a trial case though the local police blamed it on miscreants but just imagine if someone had thrown a matchstick at the site”, the official pointed out.


Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow