Citizens may have to wait for some more time before the city’s police force starts acting on complaints filed at local police stations in the last couple of weeks, as the law enforcers have been busy with security arrangements made for the festive season. Usually a tough time for the police was even tougher this year, as Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi happened to be on the same day – September 11.
Even as the police force went the extra mile to maintain harmony among communities, the news of two terrorists – Kalimuddin Khan alias Rameshwar Pandit (28) and Hafiz Khijir Ulla Sharif (25) – on the loose in the city made matters worse. Additional security personnel were deployed on the streets to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the festivals. The security cover could not be withdrawn post Ganpati immersions as the Babri Masjid demolition case verdict was to be out on Friday, which has now been deferred for a week by the Supreme Court.
Also, the shooting incident near Jama Masjid in New Delhi, where two unidentified assailants targeted foreign tourists, and the car blast in the same vicinity added to the woes of the Mumbai police. Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal told Hindustan Times, “When there are so many police officers on the streets ensuring there is no law and order problem in the city during festivals, it does have an impact on routine crime detection.”
According to former Mumbai Police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, normally during the festive season, routine crime detection does get delayed as police officials are diverted to ensure that the festival passes of without any untoward incidents. “Certain departments like the crime branch and special branches continue looking at detection of routine crimes. However, in totality, routine crime detection does take a back seat.”
“Till Ganpati immersions, we are mostly on bandobast duty to ensure that there is no law and order problem. We will start focusing on detection routine crime cases once the festive season goes by peacefully. It becomes difficult to multitask as the staff at the police station is limited,” said a police official, who is a member of the crime detection team at a local police station.
From certain police stations like Kalachowkie, majority of the staff is deployed at the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati pandal, which falls under its jurisdiction. Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order), Rajneesh Seth confirmed that detection of crimes is impacted during festivals. However, Seth added that the number of crimes also reduce during the festivals.