Gateway of India cleared of cops, belongings

Little space to house SRP platoon: CM

Gateway of India cleared of cops, belongings

Toy commandos on sale at the Gateway of India, as the Mumbai terror attacks completing one year on 26th November, on Friday. PTI

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said there was scarcity of accommodation for policemen, but the state government was taking measures to rectify the situation.

People  from all walks of life including foreign tourist criticised the manner in which police personnel and securitymen were treated in India.

There is no respect for the work they are doing.... it won’t happen in Europe,” said a foreign tourist, looking at the imposing Gateway of India, which was converted into a temporary shelter by the State Reserve Police (SRP) jawans in the absence of proper accommodation.

But it happens in India. And any Indian wound have hung his head in shame watching at the hapless SRP jawans, who are on duty for the past two months guarding the Taj Mahal hotel from another terror attack, but without proper accommodation for themselves.

The 30 jawans of the SRP platoon were sleeping on the pavements underneath the Gateway of India arch, eating there, reading newspapers, and even washing and hanging their clothes.

The jawans were using the lone police van which has been put into service there to change clothes and underwears. To top it all, last week’s unseasonal rains forced the troopers to put up plastic sheets around the Gateway of India to shield themselves from the rainwater.

The shame would have continued for long, but for the media compelling the Maharashtra government and its top home department officials to take action - that of clearing the Gateway of India of all police effects and belongings, which were dumped on the street overnight.

Then the new Home Minister R R Patil woke up on Friday and personally visited the site. He has now ordered to provide much needed tents to accommodate the hapless jawans.
Ironically, the restoration and beautification work of the Gateway of India costing Rs 2 crore was completed recently and the monument is due to be opened to tourists soon.

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