Chaos prevails at police-public meet

  • Gurpreet Singh Chhina, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 19, 2014 14:34 IST

Chaos prevailed at the police-public meeting at Law Bhawan in Sector 37 on Tuesday when residents raised a volley of questions, forcing one of the senior officers to the end the interaction.

On the first day of the police week from November 18 to 22, the two-hour meeting gave a common platform to residents to discuss their problems with the police. The meeting was called at 3.30 pm but UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh Gill, the first to reach the venue, came around 4pm.

The SSP explained the audience that inspector general (IG) RP Upadhyaya would join them within 15 minutes, as he had to attend an important meeting called at the Punjab and Haryana high court related to the ongoing controversy involving self-styled godman Rampal.

The meeting started with a welcome address given by the SSP, who then asked the residents to raise their concerns. Residents started raising their voices demanding microphone to put their question before the SSP.

The interaction came to a halt around 4.30 pm when the IGP reached the venue. Resuming interaction, the residents highlighted traffic chaos, besides the mushrooming paying guest culture in the city.

The residents were seen entering into altercations for microphone when the IG intervened and requested them to put their problems one by one. He also promised listening to their woes even if he had to continue till 9pm.

However, SSP (traffic) Manish Chaudhry was not present at the meet where maximum problems were raised regarding traffic. Then SSP Gill called ASP traffic (south) Navdeep Singh Brar on the dais to listen to the residents’ woes.

The situation heated up when former chairman of Kishangarh zila parishad Bhajan Singh Marro of Kishangarh stood up and asked the residents that the discussion should go beyond Sectors 37 and 38. He said the residents were discussing the sector problems whereas the meet was convened to understand the problems of the city.

Some people alleged that the meet was hijacked by the residents of Sectors 37 and 38 as it was convened in Sector 37. They further said the meet failed to highlight the problems of the city.

BJP councillor Arun Sood highlighted problems of parks and requested fencing of open plots in Sectors 37 and 38, whereas one of the residents snubbed the councillor by saying that these works were related to the MC not police. The IG said he would write about such problems to the department concerned.

As the residents were indulging in verbal spats for taking over the microphone, to control the situation SSP Gill got up and tactfully ended the meet around 5.30pm. The IGP said after him, the SSP would listen to their woes.

The meeting got over around 6 pm and the venue got cleared within minutes after the IG left.

What residents want from police?

Nakas should be set up on inner roads to check speeding and curb rash driving menace by minors.

Paying guest accommodations should be registered and action should be taken against law breakers.

Patrolling should be increased inside sectors to curb thefts.

Traffic light duration of Sector 37-38 light point should be increased as per vehicular flow.

CCTV cameras should be installed in city to curb crime.

Police-residents meet should be held at area police stations.

Women and children should not be summoned in police stations at night.

IG’s take on problems

A proposal to install 660 CCTV cameras in the city is in the pipeline.

Meetings of SHOs and ASPs with the public have already started but the police got a poor response.

He assured considering the suggestions made by the residents in the meeting.

Your email didn’t require a reply: IG

A youth in white kurta pyjama asked the IG that he had sent an email to him and the SSP on October 30 related to his Scorpio car that was burnt outside his house in Sector 38 (West), but he did not get any response.

The IGP said maybe it was not necessary to answer the mail. Then the youth said he got a reply from the IG after 12 days, but nothing had been done.

The IGP explained, “I keep answering emails and sometimes it gets delayed. The moment you sent an email it is understood that the complaint is in process.”

The IG told the youth that he was aware of his case but he didn’t want to talk about the case in the public and asked to talk to the SSP about it. The youth then submitted a representation to the ASP (south) and left the hall.

10 women take part in meet

Only 10 women attended the meeting where around 300 residents were present. One of the women raised the issue of women should not be called to police stations at night.

Questions raised by residents

BS Gill, president, resident welfare association, Sector 19, said there was a need to create awareness among residents for servant verification so that residents pursue it with the police.

Santosh Kumar, a resident of Sector 43, raised concern over police patrolling near parks as two days ago a windowpane of his car was broken and articles were stolen from Sector 44-B park.

SS Lamba, chapter president of senior citizens welfare association, said the police should provide I-cards to plumbers, electricians and hawkers.

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