100 to 125 plaints at each meeting

Petitions praying for police intervention in land grab charges top the list at the public grievance redressal meetings conducted by the Police Department in the district, police say.

The Madurai Rural Police receive petitions three days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On an average, each day around 100 to 125 petitions are received by the officers led by Superintendent of Police Asra Garg at the recently opened office on Alagarkoil Road here. With 300 to 375 petitions a week, it works out to around 1,200 to 1,500 petitions a month, officials said.

According to the personnel handling the petitions, next to land grab, complaints related to marital disputes are high, followed by petitions seeking higher-up's intervention to register first information reports (FIR) on property-related offences and charges of usury.

In the past 100 days, the Madurai district police, apart from registering cases and detaining the accused on land grab charges, have settled ‘out of court' complaints following compromise between petitioners and counter-petitioners. “More than the arrests of political functionaries, many gullible public keep visiting our office to thank the officers for their initiative in restoring the property to genuine land owners,” the staff said.

Recently, the police department had stated in a press release that properties worth over Rs. 5 crore were retrieved and handed over to rightful owners.

Marital disputes

Officers said that there was a rise in petitions on women being harassed by their in-laws and husbands. These petitions seek police action prior to legal separation.

Till the courts issued appropriate orders, the petitioners wanted the police to provide protection. “Unlike other disputes, marital issues cannot be redressed across the table. It takes time, say a fortnight or two or even more. We have to give counselling to the needy and ensure that there is some understanding reached between them,” Mr. Garg told The Hindu on Thursday.

There are other complaints too. Many petitioners wanted the higher-ups' intervention to give direction to the station-level officers to register FIRs on complaints preferred by them on cases of theft, chain snatching, vehicle missing etc.

Mr. Garg said that officers had been instructed to ensure that FIRs were registered on complaints without any delay. While a majority of the petitions received (on the three days in a week) were disposed of at a swift pace, certain complaints such as land grab took time as the police officers had to gather relevant documents and ascertain themselves on the veracity of the complaints, he said.

More In: Madurai