A mosque, located in a sensitive area in Aligarh, has been covered with a black tarpaulin sheet ahead of the Holi.
Abhishek, Superintendent of Police (SP), said that the step has been taken after discussions with the local representatives.
"This is a trend that is followed to maintain peace and harmony," he said.
According to the police, the mosque is located in the sensitive area and all appropriate measures are being taken to ensure peaceful celebrations.
"We have taken several preventive measures. Rapid Action Force and local police will be patrolling the area and drones are keeping an eye on the terrace of the houses in the region. Adequate forces will be deployed in sensitive areas during Holi celebrations," he added.
Images of the mosque covered in tarpaulin and coloured cloth were shared on Twitter by news agency ANI.
Aligarh: Halwaiyan Masjid has been covered ahead of the #Holi festival. Abhishek, SP City Aligarh says, "the area is sensitive. This trend is followed so that communal harmony can be maintained in the area." (08.03) pic.twitter.com/MLINaVRRBc— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 8, 2020
The decision to cover the mosque was met with mixed reactions on Twitter with many users claiming that the move displayed police's inability to control anti-social factions.
@AlJazeera @aajtak @anjanaomkashyap @ravishndtv @RanaAyyub @MaskoorUsmani @U_bad118 @Furkaan1989 city administration of Aligarh told Masjid committee to cover their mosque during holi celebrations, as they are not able to control the mob. @UN @BBCWorld @Reuters @nytimes @_MORADC pic.twitter.com/nXplFEZb9y— Abdullah Arsalan (@AbdullahArsala8) March 9, 2020
#DaagAccheNahinHain to avoid colors of #Holi 'staining' the walls of #Mosque administration & mosque committee blindsided entire mosque anticipating communal tension in wake of 'staining' in #Aligarh #OldMosque #AbdulKarimChauraha pic.twitter.com/cfYMoFoCkm— Sachin Singh (@sachinsingh1010) March 20, 2019
Some, however, pointed out that covering the mosque would protect it from colours and stains on Holi when celebrations can often get rowdy.
Many mosque in Aligarh has covered by tent clothings to avoid colours of Holi !— Dr.Shiv Kumar Tiwari (@shivkum28012199) March 9, 2020