There are 108 Hoysalas and Cheetahs in the City, but is this number enough to guard the increasing population? Senior police officers concede that this number isn’t enough. People point out that when Hoysalas and Cheetahs were introduced, they brought in a lot of confidence as the patrol vehicles provided people with a sense of security. But today, people say that these protectors are far and few in number.
Metrolife asked seniors police officers and people in general where the Hoysalas have disappeared.
Lack of trained manpower, fuel shortage and constant traffic blocks have been described as prime reasons for the Hoysala dream turning sour. The City’s choking traffic is said to be one of the major reasons for delayed responses of Hoysalas during emergencies.
“We cannot altogether rule out their efficiency. If there is an emergency situation in a particular area and the Hoysala of that station is out on call, then we divert the Hoysala from the nearest police station. But traffic blocks and slow moving traffic has made it impossible for Hoysalas to attend to emergencies within minutes,” says Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T Suneel Kumar.
The Hoysalas were introduced 13 years ago during the tenure of L Revannasiddaiah, the then Police Commissioner of Bangalore City. Suneel Kumar reasons that when they were introduced, they were intended to be the most visible and easily accessible armed police force.
Suneel also points out that the Hoysalas are supposed to be moving in the City and not stay put at any particular point, “You don’t see them because they are constantly on the move. The entire City is divided into seven law and order zones. Each police station is given one or two Hoysalas and four Cheetahs depending on how sensitive the area is,” he says.
Suneel says that every Hoysala will have two constables and one inspector. He points out that they have the power to initiate action against the accused when they arrive at the spot. Most Hoysalas attend to petty crimes such as quarrels between spouses, siblings and incidents of chain-snatching.
“They are the first to arrive at the spot, hence they are most effective to prevent crimes across the City. Every police station has started something known as sub beat and the Hoysalas have an important role to play in the process. During the sub beats, the respective police stations will collect information about residents living in that locality, the maids and even the new occupants. This information will be handed over to the Hoysala as well,” says Suneel.
An inspector of a police station located in a posh area in the City says that the Hoysalas and Cheetahs are doing well.“They are very active in our limits. They are helpful and we need these Hoysalas and Cheetahs to ensure that the City is safe.”
But people are not very confident about the functioning of Hoysalas and Cheetahs. They say they don’t see them as often as they should. Nakul Shenoy, an IT professional, says he sees Hoysalas and Cheetahs occasionally dart across the street. “There’s a sense of security when we see them patrolling in the area where we live. But I don’t see them around too much and since I don’t interact with them, why I should be bothered if they are present or not?” he asks.
Shalini Sunder, a resident of Koramangala, says she has never seen Hoysalas and Cheetahs in her area. “We rarely see them. The police might claim that they are doing well but we never see them around. It’s only when we call 100 and there’s an emergency that they rush in from some corner of the City,” she concludes.