Special police desk formed to monitor Azad Maidan rallies | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Special police desk formed to monitor Azad Maidan rallies

mumbai Updated: Oct 21, 2012 00:26 IST
Saurabh Joshi

Taking lessons from the recent Azad Maidan violence, the police have decided to formulate a separate law and order desk that will be situated at ground zero itself.

It will comprise at least 30 policemen who would be solely responsible for taking care of all aspects of any rally being held at the ground.

The violence at the venue on August 11 had claimed two lives, whereas 63 others, including 58 policemen and policewomen, were injured. The police have now decided to set up the desk for better coordination with increased transparency and accountability in order to cut down on the current ad hoc functioning. The team will comprise two inspectors, four sub-inspectors, officials of the special branch, traffic police and personnel from the wireless department.

Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police (south region), said, “We have divided the team into five groups. Each would be given separate responsibilities once an application for conducting a rally is received. The groups would be responsible for logistics, supervision, arrangement and correspondence.”

A separate team would take care of correspondence with the municipal corporation, hospitals and other vital installations. The SB officials would keep a tab on all the vital intelligence inputs. The SB officials deployed with the desk would gather information about how many people are attending the rally and hence what level of preparedness would be required for the event.

“We would have a checklist that would be followed depending on what kind of rally is being conducted at the ground. The desk would start functioning in full strength in the coming month. We are acquiring logistical equipment, including computers, laptops, barricades, fax machine etc., for better functioning of the desk,” added Prakash.

As part of the modernisation, a proposal to procure a new ‘water cannon’ and colour dye markers has also been forwarded to top officials. The absence of the cannon on the day of violence slowed down the probe. A water cannon helps identify the rioters as the water contains a chemical that leaves colour on the body, which cannot be washed off for at least three days.