Chennai

Police told to curb violence, softly

Public transport may be hit on account of the Opposition-sponsored bandh

A high alert has been sounded across Tamil Nadu as political parties, Tamil organisations and others geared for a State-wide bandh on Thursday to protest against the Union government’s failure to form the Cauvery Management Board.

In a note to Commissioners/Superintendents of Police, the Director-General of Police has called for all-out efforts to maintain peace amid continuing agitations such as rail/road roko and demonstrations.

Adequate forces should be deployed to protect vital installations and essential services. Issues concerning the Cauvery water dispute, the Sterlite unit in Thoothukudi, cooperatives elections and the Neutrino project needed deeper attention on the part of senior officers.

City Commissioners/SPs were told to coordinate with the District Collectors to curtail bus services early in the morning and late in the evening on Wednesday.

‘Collect intelligence’

“Ground-level intelligence has to be collected and the local police should be fully activated. Leave should not be granted unless there is an extreme emergency, till everything settles down,” the DGP said.

Police would identify violence-prone places based on past incidents and step up surveillance in those areas. Besides deploying adequate manpower to prevent protesters from entering railway stations, airports, toll plazas and other areas where the public could converge, instructions were given to intensify night patrolling and vehicle checks.

People planning rail blockade agitations should be picked up as they assemble, instead of letting them enter railway station premises.

No to use of force

The police were directed not to use force, to the extent possible. “As far as possible there should be no use of force and utmost restraint is the requirement of the day. Any provocation by agitators should be handled with utmost restraint as this results in unnecessary police action, which is what they want and the media want to flash. Any such trap should not be allowed to work,” he said.

However, the DGP said violence should not be spared and in the event of any untoward incident resulting in a cognisable offence, the entire protesting group should be arrested and remanded instead of making selective arrests.

Asking the police to videograph incidents, the DGP said measures should be taken to prevent/manage self-immolations during the protests. Fire-proof blankets and water should be kept handy. The ‘108’ ambulances should be alerted, and if required positioned at the sites of major protests.

Senior police officers should tie up with political parties to ensure that security arrangements were implemented as planned.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:22:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/police-told-to-curb-violence-softly/article23438049.ece

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