Wary of black flags, cops force woman to take off burqa

Wary of black flags, police officers allegedly forced a Muslim woman to take off her burqa (veil) at an election rally addressed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Ballia, about 400 km from here.

According to the sources, the woman, who had arrived at Adityanath's rally on Tuesday wearing a burqa, was asked by the officers to remove it.

A senior police official said there were instructions to the local police to make sure that no one wearing black cloths should be allowed to enter the venue of the rally.

Sources said that the cops were taking extra precaution after black flags were shown to Adityanath at his election rally in Meerut a few days back.

The matter came to light when some reporters who were present at the rally, clicked pictures that showed the woman taking off her burqa.

The pictures showed the woman, who was in the arena reserved for the ladies, speaking to police officers, who had surrounded her.

The woman, sources said, identified herself as Saira Bano and told the officers that she was a supporter of the saffron party and was at the rally to listen to Adityanath.

Police sources here said that a probe had been ordered into the incident. "We will try to ascertain under what circumstances the woman was asked to take off her burqa," the official said here on Wednesday.

In the rally at Meerut, some farmers had reached the venue of the rally carrying black cloths and started waving them as soon as Adityanath began to speak.

The BJP workers had thrashed the farmers and a video footage showed injured people being escorted out of the rally by cops.

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