Men in khaki had their hands full

Police claim drop in crime rate, but City far from being safe

The year 2011 has been one of transition for the Bangalore City police. Change of guards meant a change in the functioning of the department. But murders, robberies, chain-snatchings, molestations, suicides and other such incidents continued to haunt the City, though the overall crime rate saw a dip compared to the last year.

After Shankar Bidari’s transfer, B G Jyothiprakash Mirji was appointed Commissioner of Police on May 2.

M A Saleem took over as Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic & Security) on September 3 from Praveen Sood.

As the top cop, Mirji ordered raids on houses of rowdy sheeters and high-profile flesh trade. The beat system too showed some improvement.

Under Saleem, the traffic police wing witnessed some quick and positive developments, including a series of road safety and awareness measures to decongest certain places during festive seasons, and recommendation of suspension of driving licences of repeat offenders.

“It is a very good year for us. We kept rowdy elements under control, which eventually led to a decrease in the crime rate,” said T Sunil Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order).

As for the unabated murders, he said: “Gang wars and murders involving rowdies are under control, but we are helpless when it comes to murders within families. The number of murders committed by rowdies has come down.”

Mirji also dealt sternly with high-profile flesh trade, busting prostitution rackets and raiding hundreds of brothels in the City this year.

A major boost for the city cops came in the form of rescue of 210 children who were forced into begging, after raiding 282 places with the help of the Department Women and Child Development and eight voluntary organisations. Besides, 84 women beggars and six men beggars were taken into custody in the second week of December, said an officer.

Though the police claim credit for the reduced number of crimes, some murders stunned the City. Gandhinagar corporator S Nataraj was hacked to death in full public view at a busy traffic junction in Malleswaram on October 1.

A 42-year-old bank employee, S Anasuya, was stabbed to death by a security guard inside a lift at her Polo Garden apartments in Kumara Park West, Seshadripuram, on October 7 afternoon. The police are yet to arrest Ashraf.

The most tragic incident was reported on December 2 when a doctor, his wife and two sons committed suicide allegedly unable to repay debts.

The major incident that exposed the police was the alleged gang rape by an 11-member gang of a girl in front of her friend at a cemetery in Ashok Nagar on December 25 night.

Adding to the list are the murders of rowdies by rival gangs. Areas that continued to pose a big challenge to the police were chain-natching and robbery.
However, the City police are upbeat.

“In the coming year, we will concentrate more on rowdy and anti-social elements. Usurers will come under the scanner and we will book rowdies under the Goonda Act,” warned Sunil Kumar.

Big events

*  Controversy over DG&IGP appointment
*  Filing of a case by the CID on the UKP irregularities between 1995 and 1998
*  Change of guards in City Police Commissionerate
*  Creation of another Joint CP (Crime) post
*  Continuous raids on rowdies’ houses and place of high-profile flesh trade
*  Corporators Diwan Ali and S Nataraj murdered in full public view
*  BSYeddyurappa, Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Setty jailed in Parappana Agrahara Prisons
*  Rescuing of more than 200 child beggars
*  Less accidents and deaths since 2000.
*  Police failure to curb chain-snatching, robberies and attention diversion cases

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