Police struggle to monitor checkposts

Police struggle to monitor checkposts

Understaffed, ill-equipped department asks for help from paramilitary forces, home guards

Lack of facilities has become an issue of concern for the Police Department in the backdrop of the elections.

Keeping watch, especially over checkposts, has become a tedious job for policemen, who have to manage with far fewer numbers of staff than required.

“There is a power line connected to the main line near the checkpost to provide at least a minimum amount of electricity for the barely-lit roads. If there is a power cut in between, the only resort we have is the flashlight we carry at all times,” said a policeman, who went ahead with his duty of checking vehicles at the checkpost on the outskirts of the City, adding, “The battery for this flashlight, however, is our own investment.”

Round the clock

After the declaration of the dates for the coming Assembly elections, the Police Department set up 24-hour checkposts in several parts of the district, which started functioning from April 3 and will continue till May 5.

While the policemen keep watch in two shifts- 8 am to 8 pm and then again till 8 am- there are only four staff to handle the thousands of vehicles that travel past the checkposts.

The burden of the understaffed policemen was evident as the Deccan Herald correspondent visited some of the checkposts on Tuesday night. As claimed by the policeman earlier, the staff were found forced to deal with most vehicles with merely flashlights in hand, and lacking any phosphorescent jackets to work nighttime.
The only facility given is a walkie-talkie, to keep in touch with other checkposts.

“Staff from the Home Guards were expected to be posted to assist us, but no move has been taken in this direction so far. Therefore, we are only two policemen per shift at each checkpost. The situation is worse during the day, as the traffic is also heavier. The vehicle rush recedes only past about 11 pm,” said an officer.

Traffic affected

“Very often, the shortage of staff affects the traffic too. Since only two staff members are checking the vehicles, the drivers are expected to queue up for longer periods,” the officer added.

The only checkpost which seemed to better staffed slightly was at the Brindavan Circle within the City. The fact that most vehicles entering the district headquarters pass by this checkpost is said to a reason for this better condition.

Commenting on the situation, District Superintendent of Police Dr Ramnivas Sepat agreed the Department was understaffed to manage the checkposts set up during election time.

“Staff from the paramilitary forces have been employed recently for the job and will be posted as required,” he added.

Excise Department no better

The excise checkpost at Sampangere has only one sub-inspector, who has to manage all work, like checking the vehicles and registering information about the vehicles, as found on Wednesday by the Deccan Herald correspondent.

The Static Surveillance Team was found near the checkpost, with two constables, two home guards and four paramilitary staff members. The officers and staff were equipped with detonator-bomb detectors, 20-shot guns.

Sources at the Excise Department say many staff members have been appointed on contract basis to relieve the Department of shortage of staff at many checkposts.

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