Balia (Uttar Pradesh): A video showing three police personnel asking a Muslim woman to remove her Burqa during Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's rally has sent shock waves amid rising intolerance against minorities in India.
The state police initially tried to evade questions regarding the incident. However it later ordered a probe after a video showing the incident went viral.
The incident took place in Balia district of Eastern UP Tuesday, a day before the first phase of elections to elect Chairmen of local bodies.
The woman, who identified herself as Saira, and her husband both claimed to be BJP workers.
In the widely circulated video, Saira is seen first taking off a saffron scarf from around her neck. Over the next minute, prompted by the police officers, she took off the burqa.
She was later asked her to fold the garment and keep it. But soon, a male police officer arrived and walked away with the burqa.
Talking to news agency ANI, Balia SP Anil Kumar said that he has not been informed of any such incident where a Muslim woman was asked to take off her burqa during the CM’s rally.
“However, everyone had the instructions to see that no one shows a black cloth to CM Yogi Adityanath,” he added.
Kumar also said the incident, if it has taken place, will be probed and action will be taken against policemen if found guilty.
Meanwhile, polling in the first phase of Uttar Pradesh local body elections were held Wednesday in 71 municipal boards and 154 nagar panchayats including Ayodhya and Gorakhpur - the constituency represented by state chief minister and firebrand Hindutva leader Yogi Agityanath.
Reports of faulty Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were received from many areas of the state. At some places, protests broke out with voters alleging that machines were rigged to favour BJP candidates.