The Gautam Buddh Nagar administration on Monday invoked the stringent National Security Act against a gangster for allegedly firing on a security guard at the construction site of a Chinese smartphone firm.
Senior officials said slapping NSA against a gangster for firing at a foreign firm's guard was the "first of its kind" action in Uttar Pradesh as such an act could jeopardise international trade and ties and vitiate investment climate in the region.
On January 31, some Sundar Bhati gang members had opened fire on the security guard deployed at the construction site of Oppo smartphone factory in Greater Noida.
Later, it had emerged that it was done at the behest of local people who wanted to secure contracts for the firm's civil works like those for water supply and transportation, they said.
"It was not just an act of firing," District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh said as he briefed reporters along with Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna.
"A security guard of an international company was fired upon, this could have impacted foreign relations. A lot of points are to be considered before invoking the NSA, it's a serious act," Mr Singh said.
Announcing the invocation of NSA against Robin, whose bail plea is to be heard by a court on Tuesday, District Magistrate Singh said, "If foreign companies don't find the atmosphere safe and conducive, if they feel unsafe, it would have an overall adverse effect in the region. Investments and thereby employment opportunities would be affected, leading to a public order situation," he added.
SSP Krishna said the other gang members involved in the attack have been arrested and booked under the Gangsters Act.
Slapping the NSA on main accused Robin would deny him bail for a year, he added.
Referring to the stringent police action against those involved in the January 31 firing, the SSP said any trader or businessmen getting extortion call or facing undue pressure from anti-social elements must approach the police.
He said the firing at Oppo firm's site was aimed at building pressure on the company to give its contracts for civil works to the gang's favourite parties.
"There was a competition between local gangs to build pressure on business and industry houses to get contracts. This was a situation of extreme rivalry with one gang trying to coerce the firm by opening fire at its security guard," he added.
The district magistrate said the action has been taken under Section 3(1) and 3(2) of the National Security Act.
The section 3(1) empowers the government to detain a person to prevent him from doing acts prejudicial to the defence or security of India or its ties with foreign powers.
Section 3(2), in turn, empowers it to detain a person to prevent him from doing anything prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or disrupting essential supplies or services to the community.
Mr Singh said the administration was committed to ensuring safety and security not only of foreign companies but all firms and business alike.