Hyderabad’s old city to have ‘anti-baraat’ police squads

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Hyderabad: Dance performances with knives, swords and firearms during weddings and other functions in the old city have been prohibited. The South Zone police have launched what they are calling ‘Anti-Baraat’ squads to keep a check on such acts at weddings from now on.

There is no specific permission given to baraats (wedding processions) which are taken out late in the night from streets and narrow lanes in the old city. However, wedding parties do take out a baraat in some places with loud music being played beyond permissible levels against the apex court’s order. This is leading to sound pollution and causing inconvenience to the locals, officials said.

In the last two years, the practice of youngsters displaying swords, guns and dancing with them has become common.

“When we asked the elders and leaders of the community, they said there was no such rule or practice as per the law. However, these youngsters treat this as a status symbol and pride,” said V Satyanarayana, DCP, South Zone.

A couple of days ago, a 16-year-old boy died after being injured accidentally during a dagger dance at a baraat in Shaikpet. There were about three other stabbing cases reported as well during baraats, one from the West Zone and two from South Zone.

According to sources, the police had in recent times shown restraint during these processions, but with such cases being reported, it has been decided to take up the issue seriously.
The ‘Anti-Baraat’ squad will comprise one Sub-Inspector and 10 police constable officials from each division.

“Our zone had four divisions, so there will be four SIs and 40 police constables looking after such activities at any given point in time. Each team will be supervised by the divisional Assistant Commissioner of Police,” Satyanarayana said.

Citizens can call the South Zone Control Room or the local police station and inform about any such display of weapons in functions or sound pollution they come across.“Our teams will nab them and seize the weapons. Cases will be booked against those displaying weapons,” the DCP said, adding that the squads would also have a videographer to record the act.