To foil hijacking of vehicles and smuggling of contraband

The city police have instructed private tourist vehicle operators to install General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) in their vehicles in a bid to foil hijacking of vehicles and smuggling of contraband.

Samanth Rohan Rajendra, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), asked the vehicle owners to co-operate with the police to curb illegal activities such as smuggling and kidnapping at a meeting held here on Saturday.

The police have instructed owners to install GPRS to help track the vehicle in case of an emergency and maintain a separate register with details of passengers such as their names, addresses and background information of passengers before renting a vehicle in order to ensure safety of tourists and transport operators. They have been asked to get a copy of identity cards of customers such as ration cards or voter ID cards. Several tourist van, car and call taxi operators attended the meeting.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Samanth Rohan said: “we have given these instructions for the safety of operators and the public.”

There have been cases where criminals, under the pretext of booking a car for a tour, hijack the vehicle at knife point or use the vehicle to smuggle illegal items such as drugs.

Hence this initiative will help prevent such activities, he added.

To a query of a car driver regarding poor response from the police control room, the Deputy Commissioner said that complainants could call him on his mobile phone.

“Follow rules”

Further, the drivers were asked to adhere to traffic rules by carrying valid permit for the vehicle, drivers’ licence and name badge.

Action would be initiated against those who violate the traffic rules, police said.

Drivers and public could call the police on 100, 103, 112 or 94868-83681 to file complaints, if any.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S. Yellaparaj, Regional Transport Officer, Madurai (Central), K. Kalyan Kumar, took part in the meeting.

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