The Coimbatore City Police are on the job of re-drawing the road map for policing for the next 25 years given the growing complexities on two counts — one on the communal front and the other on drug abuse among students, said V. Balakrishnan, Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore City.
Mr. Balakrishnan told The Hindu that two blasts had rocked the city so far — the serial explosions that took place on February 14, 1998 and the car blast that took place on October 23, 2022. The present revisiting of strategy would be based on the experiences during the two blasts.
Strict action against communal elements irrespective of the faith they belonged to, strong preventive measures on social media, clear legislation demarcating the freedom of speech and expression and hate speech are the need of the hour and when asked about this the Commissioner said that such measures would definitely follow. He said that inter-faith meetings were being organised regularly to forge communal harmony. As part of peace-time policing, he said the police instead of wielding a baton were showing love and concern. Street libraries and the inauguration of Police Boys Club at Pullukadu on Saturday were the indicators.
Focus is also on de-radicalisation. Radicalisation of minds takes place in two modes —self-radicalisation through online contents and literature. To offer counselling, panels involving religious scholars, psychologists, family members especially mothers, community leaders and police officials have been formed at every police station, the Commissioner said.
Taking a cue from the reports that the Mangalore blast suspect had stayed in Coimbatore using false address proof, the city police are on the job of launching an app within the next 10 to 15 days. The app will cover all places of stay, wherein particulars of the guests would be collected without affecting their privacy, said Mr. Balakrishnan.
To weed out drug menace, anti-drug clubs have been formed in colleges with the co-operation of the managements. The drug trade happens in small closed groups and intelligence gathering through students have been stepped up. High-end drugs are sourced from Benglauru and Chennai and low-end drugs are sourced in an unorganised manner. Marijuana largely comes from Andhra Pradesh. The city police are also planning to launch a project named ‘Police Bro’ next month on the lines of “Akka”, a project that was launched for girl students, he said.