Safety should be given priority while celebrating Deepavali, said P. Sivanandi, Inspector General of Police, West Zone, here on Thursday.

Mr. Sivanandi was here to reward the police team that cracked crimes within hours of their occurrence in Krishnagiri, Salem and Namakkal districts.

Speaking to reporters at the District Police Office, Mr. Sivanandi asked people to take steps to prevent accidents while dealing with fire crackers.

He said cracker shops should not be set up near places of worship, residential areas and education institutions. Shops should be set up at good buildings and they should follow all security regulations without fail.

Mr. Sivanandi said fire cracker shops should be set up shops in open places to avoid fire accidents.

People should try to burst crackers in open places, he added.

Mr. Sivanandi said a common place would be identified by District Superintendents of Police concerned after consulting District Collectors. Police personnel who did an exemplary job were given cash awards and certificates of merit.

A Sub-Inspector, who is about to retire in six months time was given immediate transfer to his native place.R. Venkatraman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Salem Range; A.G. Babu, Superintendent of Police, Krishnagiri; A. Paarivel, Superintendent of Police, Namakkal; were present on the occasion.

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