Meetings will be held at stations, and the SI will hear out aggrieved party

The monthly grievance meeting to be held every third Sunday at the office of the Superintendent of Police will be discontinued after the poor response it got at the first meeting held on Sunday. Only one complainant attended the meeting.

Addressing a press meet here on Sunday, Abhishek Goyal, Superintendent of Police, Dakshina Kannada, said that the grievance meetings will be held at police stations, and the sub inspector (SI) would hear out to the aggrieved party. He said the meeting would not be held at the office of the SP.

Information about Sunday’s meet was put on the police blog and there were not many complainants because their grievances were addressed at the police stations itself, he said. “If the problem is resolved at the station, why should they come here? It (addressing grievances) is an ongoing activity. Everyday is grievance day. As such we don’t have so my grievances. People with grievances won’t wait till the third Sunday,” the officer said. On an average, three to four grievances were heard every day at the SP’s office and that the numbers were higher at the stations, Mr. Goyal said.

A few days ago, speaking at an event held to mark World Elders’ Abuse Awareness Day, he had suggested that an elders’ helpline could be set up at the SP’s office. Some elders had met him after the idea was mooted to discuss the issue and had said that they would return to him again in a week. SDM Law College had also discussed about setting up a legal helpline.

The SP’s office could provide space, furniture and telephone lines but they would be paid by other organisations. The counsellors could be called as and when required from NGOs and government departments such as the Women and Child Development. Many cases requiring counselling instead of police intervention come to the police, which had no professional counsellors in Mangalore. “We need a counsellor,” he said.

Developing Belthangady

Mr. Goyal said that progress of work in Belthangady for development of Naxal-affected areas was slow. The State government released Rs. 5 crore for the area, of which Rs. 3.98 crore had been distributed. A majority of the work was being done by the engineering sections of the Zilla Panchyat (ZP), Public Works Department (PWD) and Nirmithi Kendra. The fund was released in June this year. Repairing roads, bridges and drains were the major work . Between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the work was done, and progress of the rest of the work was “very slow”, he said. However, it (the development work) is a long-term strategy.

He said there was another programme for which funds of Rs. 20 lakh was being sought. If sanctioned, 21 tribal boys would be employed as Home Guards for one year. It would be like employment generation but there was no proposal of absorbing them into the police on a regular basis.

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