Any Ganesh Mandal that wants to put up any image in public paces has to obtain permission from the local municipal body. The police will take legal action against organisations that do not obtain due permissions, Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said in Belagavi on Tuesday.
He was responding to a query on some BJP leaders distributing posters and images of V.D. Savarkar to Ganesh Mandals and asking them to install them in Ganesh Mandals and some Congress leaders saying that they will ask their followers to install images of others such as Sangolli Rayanna and Buddha, Basaveshwara and Ambedkar.
“Whose image is being placed is immaterial to us. We only want the organisers to take due permission. Mandals should take permissions from the city corporation, municipal council or the gram panchayat concerned,’’ Mr. Kumar said.
“We have no objection whatsoever to people placing any image in their houses or private property,’’ he said.
He said that the police will strictly enforce the Supreme Court guidelines on noise pollution. Any noise emitting instrument, whether it is a loud speaker or DJ, has to be within the parameters prescribed by the guidelines. Otherwise, organisers will face legal action, he said.
“The Ganesh festival is being celebrated in a full-fledged manner after two years. That is why we are taking all necessary precautions. We are deploying additional forces during the celebrations, from the seventh day to 11th day, in Belagavi. Apart from civil and reserve police, one company of the Rapid Action Force will be on duty. The police will use drones to keep a watch on crowds in various areas, he said.
Police personnel on night duty will wear reflector jackets to be recognised from afar, he added.
Earlier, he held a meeting of officers with regard to Ganesh festival preparations in Belagavi on Tuesday.
At a meeting of police officers, he stressed on the need to ensure safety and security of all Ganesh Mandals round the clock. He also spoke of the need to ensure protection to crowds that throng the mandals. He asked jurisdictional police officers to maintain regular contact with Ganesh Mandals by forming WhatsApp groups.
Mr. Kumar pointed out that the State government has revised COVID-19 guidelines for visitors to mandals and asked the police to enforce them, in association with other departments. He observed that officers from the rank of Inspector-General of Police to down below are organising peace committee meetings before the festival.
The senior IPS officer went around Ganesh Mandals in Chavat Galli and nearby areas. He spoke to Member of Legislative Assembly Anil Benake and some Ganesh Mandal office-bearers, including Vijay Jadhav.