The Yogi Adityanath’s saffron party led government has decided to establish a new centre of the Anti-Terrorist Squad in Saharanpur district’s Deoband town, which is home to an Islamic school Darul Uloom established a century and a half ago.
The Deoband is an influential Islamic school inspiring tens of thousands of religious study centres across the world.
“Listen to the news amid the barbarism of Taliban, Yogiji has decided to open an ATS Commando Centre in Deoband with immediate effect. About one-and-a-half dozen selected ATS officers from across the state would be posted there,” Shalabh Mani Tripathi, an adviser of the state information and publicity department, tweeted on Tuesday.
The decision comes months ahead of the Assembly elections.
The UP government has also decided to set up new training and operational centres fo ATS commandos in four other places in UP.
The government has allotted 2,000 sq m land for the purpose, said Prashant Kumar, ADG (law and order), here on Tuesday.
The ADG told Indian Express that Deoband is “a strategic place from every angle”, and a potential target “as it is not like no one can enter Deoband.” “The decision to start a unit in Deoband is neither to tease nor bother anyone.”
While BJP state secretary Sanjay Rai called it “farsighted,” “taken with the barbarism of the Taliban in mind,” the Opposition parties were quick to slam both the government move and BJP leaders’ remarks, calling it “communal and divisive”