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Posh colonies cold to community policing

NOBLESSE OBLIGE. But with the nobles gone in these times of egalitarian society, it is expected that the well-educated and well-heeled people will set precedents and lead the community forward.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 12:01 IST

NOBLESSE OBLIGE. But with the nobles gone in these times of egalitarian society, it is expected that the well-educated and well-heeled people will set precedents and lead the community forward.

But this principle is being given a wide berth by the residents of posh localities in the Palasia police station area when it comes to participating in any form of community policing.

The need for community policing, which entails the public giving the police a helping hand cannot be overstressed at a time when there is an acute shortage in the number of policemen and theft cases are on the rise.

“They are simply not interested,” rues a cop posted at the Palasia police station, but this does not prevent them from using their clout whenever the need arises. “They are the loudest to complaint at the slightest inconvenience and many threaten that they will speak to Kukku (DGP Swaraj Puri’s pet name) regarding the matter to intimidate us,” the cop said. And well they might, for many people of the area really are on first name terms with the top cop of the State.

The stark statistics say it in black and white. The Nagar Suraksha Samiti at the Palasia police station has 126 members and of them only seven are from the posh and upper middle class localities of the area – eg Saket, Palasia, Manoramaganj, Gulmohar, Manishpuri, Paliwal Nagar, Kailash Park, Vandana Nagar and Goyal Nagar, which in per cent terms come to a paltry 5.5 per cent.

Most of the members are from middle and lower middle class localities like Badi Gwaltoli, Patrakar Colony, Tilak Nagar, Chauhan Nagar, Telephone Nagar, Ravindra Nagar etc.

Palasia TI Deepak Shukla agrees. “There are indeed very few members from the posh localities and even if they become members, very rarely do they come and attend the meetings. But of late we have launched another recruitment drive and hope to add 20 to 25 ‘good’ people in our ranks,” said Shukla. Therein lies the dichotomy.

The police want good, well-educated people to become members, but these people want to stay as far as away from the police as possible and those who are eager to join have vested interests  - the kind the police want to avoid having as members.

Apart from the apathy factor, many of the people living in the posh localities simply do not have the time to take part in such activities, and at another level do not want to be associated with the thana-level police. “If they want to get anything done, they will use their contacts to get it done,” says a senior police officer.

The CSP convener of Sanyogitaganj (under which Palasia police station falls), Rajendra Goyal, who stays in Chhavni, is well aware of the facts, and says, “May be they are not interested, but I am trying to get new members from these areas.”

Many of the posh colonies have their own security, gates outside their colonies, which are closed at night, which perhaps gives them a false sense of security. Even then thefts do take place in these areas.