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Updated: April 24, 2013 10:51 IST

Inertia grips police force ahead of polls

Imran Gowhar
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The transfer of senior officers, including the City Police Commissioner, has compounded the confusion amongst the police

The bomb blast that took place a few yards away from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s State headquarters in the city on April 17, which rocked the poll-bound State, comes after a prolonged period of inertia by the police force in the city.

Several murders, beginning with the brutal stabbing of Coimbatore software engineer Karthik Vishu (24) on New Year’s Eve in front of a hotel in South End Circle, through the bludgeoning of a jeweller in Rajajinagar last month in broad daylight, till the killing of the 62-year-old rector of a seminary in Malleswaram earlier this month have remained unresolved, putting a question mark over the police’s ability to investigate crime and bring the culprits to book.

Up, up and away

Also, the police have not been able to stop the runaway trend in crimes against women such as rape and molestation, robberies and house break-ins in the city, which are reported almost daily.

The deterioration in the law and order situation has been attributed to the suspense over the impending transfers. “There was no serious effort to tackle law and order problem in the city and whenever there was any situation, it was dealt at a subjective level,” a senior police official said. “This is due to politicisation of the police force. The anticipation of the transfers ahead of the polls led to inefficiency and loss of moral responsibility among the force.”

Added to this the transfer of senior police officers, including the City Police Commissioner at the behest of Election Commission of India, has compounded the confusion amongst the police.

The suspense over the transfer ended last week when the government transferred more than 100 police officers of rank of Police Inspectors and Assistant Commissioners in the city.

The new officers, who have taken charge, will need some time to adjust to their new posting and continue the investigation left midway by their predecessors. “Investigations will remain in a limbo at least for the coming few months,” the police official added.

CCTVs’ role

With CCTV footage and mobile call details coming to play a crucial role in the investigation of cases, the police have begun blaming authorities of places where crime occurs — banks, jewellery shops, hotels and even houses — for not installing the facility.

However, the police department itself has not shown similar interest in installing CCTVs at vulnerable and sensitive places to monitor law and order.

So far, they have been either depending upon private CCTV cameras or traffic police cameras.

City Police Commissioner Raghavendra H. Auradkar told The Hindu four CCTV cameras each will be installed in the jurisdiction of all the police stations in the city soon from the funds made available.

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