Crimes beyond the long arms of law, Palike

 The recent alleged gang-rape of three bar girls in Jagajyothi Layout has shown the strains faced by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the City police commissionerate in regulating many newly-added areas in Bangalore.

These areas still lack reorganisation under the Palike and the Bangalore City police commissionerate.

A case in point is Jagajyothi Layout which is two kilometres from Kengeri and the Jnanabharathi police stations of the City police commissionerate. It is officially under the authority of the Palike, but falls under the jurisdiction of Bidadi police station, which is 25 kilometres away, in Ramanagara district.

Other areas similarly affected due to jurisdictional malaise include Mariyappana Palya, Nagadevanahalli and surrounding areas. Residents here complained that police patrols are few as the area is too large to be handled by the Bidadi police. “No one is seen on night rounds,” residents said.

Srikanth, a local resident, told Deccan Herald that the crime rate in these areas has been on a steady rise. He also claimed that crime reporting is at its lowest, as many complainants have to travel to far-off Bidadi to file a report.

“The same problem persists in Tavarekere, Nelamangala and other areas, too,” he said. Another complaint is that police from nearby Kengeri or Jnanabharathi police stations often do not respond to calls. “When we call them, even in times of emergency, we are simply redirected to the Bidadi police station, which is 25 kilometres away. When we call the Bidadi police, they take at least two hours to reach the spot,” residents said.

“Knowing that the area is inaccessible to swift police action, rowdies in this area have a field day. The women in the area feel very unsafe,” said Roopa, a resident.

Upgrade rural stations

However, reorganising the City police commissionerate to include outlying areas brought under the Palike limits, is not the best solution, says L R Pachuau, DG&IG (in-charge) of the Karnataka State Police.

He told Deccan Herald: “We already have 138 police stations under the City commissionerate. Just because the city is expanding, we can’t go on adding these areas to the City, as it will affect the efficiency of the City commissionerate.”

“It is not that Bangalore City is growing, but that rural areas are becoming urbanised with changing demographics. That also changes the kind of policing that is needed in these areas. The police needs to adapt to the changing times and needs,” he said.

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