M.T. Shiva Kumar
BANGALORE: The political rhetoric on the Police Department’s preparedness to deal with security issues is shrill these days. However, the conditions under which seven police stations in the north-eastern parts work in the city tell a different story. With Rs. 1.98 crore sanctioned in June 2008 to upgrade these stations yet to be released by the Home Ministry, they have been functioning without weapons, lock-ups and patrolling vehicles.
After the inauguration of Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), this part of the city has attracted much attention from the IT companies. The real estate rates have shot up and so have incidents of crime.
With an aim of ensuring better security and traffic management in the north-eastern parts of the city, the Police Department established the new division (North-East) and started Kothanur, Bagalur, Amrithalli, Sampigehalli, Kodigehalli and New International Airport police stations. The older Devanahalli, Chikkajala, Yelahanka and Yelahanka New Town police stations were added to the zone. The department has failed to provide sufficient staff and infrastructure.
No staff, no weapons
Basavaraj Malagatti, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East Division), told The Hindu: “Rs. 1.98 crore has been sanctioned to provide all the material needed for this zone. But we are still expecting that money from the Finance Department. Once the money is released, we can provide basic infrastructure to all stations.”
A few police inspectors, who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, said that lack of infrastructure was a great hurdle in maintaining law and order. “My jurisdiction is spread across 28 villages. As many as 100 industries and commercial establishments are under the jurisdiction of my station. But I was given only 28 policemen, including me. There are no weapons except revolvers and there are no Hoysala vehicles. There are only seven policemen per shift. Among them at least three have to be at station (a sentry, a writer and assistant writer). How can I manage with just four men and four lathis?” asked a worried inspector.
Devanahalli, Kodigehalli, Yelahanka and Yelahanka New Town Stations have lock-ups and sufficient number of wireless gadgets. But other stations do not have lock-ups to keep arrested persons. Only three to four wireless sets were given to other six stations. They do not have sufficient staff to even prepare charge-sheets. “Charge-sheets have to be filed within 90 days. But no steps have been taken to ensure this. We cannot even produce accused to courts because of lack of staff,” said another inspector.