Five years after Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) suggested installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at points where surveillance was necessary, the electronic eye is missing.
Five years ago, then AIT chairman Sanjeev Khanna, then MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, and then police commissioner Parampal Singh Sidhu moved the proposal at a press conference with a view to preventing crime and catching the criminals after incidents. Looking at the spurt in snatchings, robberies, thefts and assaults on women, now is the time to bring that plan into action.
The recent attempt at kidnapping a young woman from the popular district shopping centre at Ranjit Avenue testifies to the need for supervision. The many low-cost cameras outside the homes and offices here are out of order.
The task is to install the cameras at key points that are either deserted or overcrowded, as these are the places where snatchers, robber, thieves, eve-teasers, and molesters lie in ambush. The contract is worth `4.5 crore.
Besides the district shopping complex at Ranjit Avenue where a few days ago, some men tried to drag a young woman into a car and incidents of firing were reported earlier, the other fast emerging crime zones are Court Road, where four years ago a private-bank cashier was shot; Karmon Deori, where a commission agent was shot in 2012 after being robbed of `55 lakh; Lawrence Road; Putlighar, and Chheharta. There's also the railway station, outside which an auto-rickshaw driver molested a Danish woman and a railway policeman allegedly tried to rape a tourist from Delhi.
The district police seem to care less about installing the surveillance device, even though last year a camera in the Golden Temple had caught five men, including the shrine's associate manager, stealing cash from the 'golak' (offering box) during counting.
The project is still under consideration. We have moved the proposal to the government, mentioning 53 points in the city where electronic surveillance is required. The final marking of the localities is a decision that rests with the government.
Babu Lal Meena, deputy commissioner of police
CCTV cameras are the need of the hour, as the police can't be everywhere. The cameras can keep an eye on the city for them. Ranjit Avenue, where my office is, is one of the most crime-affected localities.
Ashwini Gupta, Dove Travels
The cameras should be installed at the earliest to catch whoever is behind everyday lootings, snatchings, firing, eve-teasing and other crimes. It will instill fear in the minds of anti-social elements to know that they are being watched all the time
Amit Mehra, Lawrence Road shopkeeper
Given the rise in the number of crimes against minors, it will not hurt to place CCTV cameras around schools. It will also help improve security and check rash driving by underage youngsters
Dharamvir Singh, Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School principal
Gurdaspur: Two motor cycle borne youths snatched away Rs.10,000 from one Jarnail Singh of Bhumbli village under Tibber police station near Khundi village on the road to his village on Thursday evening.Reliable sources disclosed that Jarnail Singh,who is an ex-serviceman and depot holder,had withdrawn this amount from his account in the branch of Punjab National Bank at Dhariwal.He was riding his motor cycle back to his home in Bhumbli village when two Pulsar motor cycle borne youths tore away the hanging pocket of his long 'Kurta' containing Rs.10,000 and fled with the booty.
Superintendent of Police (Detective) Jagjit Singh Saroa confirmed the incident of snatching and told that he had rushed Gurdaspur city DSP Gurvinder Singh and Tibber SHO Manoj Kumar to the spot.