The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday asked state governments to take precautionary steps to prevent violence or incidents of vandalism ahead of the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar on April 14. The ministry said the advisory was issued in wake of reports of vandalism of statues in various parts of the country and the violence that broke out during nationwide strike held on April 2 and April 10.

“The MHA has advised for intensification of patrolling in all sensitive locations to ensure no loss of life and property and issuance of prohibitory orders whenever necessary,” the advisory said. “The advisory stressed that district magistrates and superintendents of police may be asked to take all necessary steps for ensuring that law and order situation remains firmly under control in the areas of their jurisdiction.”

The ministry advised the authorities to conduct community policing initiatives to ensure peace and harmony.

Statues of Ambedkar have been vandalised in Azamgarh, Meerut and Allahabad in March. On Tuesday, two statues of Ambedkar in Bihar’s Nawada and Sheikhpura districts were found destroyed. The incidents were triggered after the razing of Communist icon Vladimir Lenin’s statue in Tripura.

At least nine people have been killed in the Bharat Bandh protests that were held on April 2 against a Supreme Court banning automatic arrests under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, citing its alleged misuse for blackmail.