Social activists, including citizens filing applications under the Right To Information, will be given immediate police protection if there is threat to their lives.
A circular issued by Commissioner of Police, D. Sivanandhan, on Thursday, says activists will be inducted into police-public coordination committee to address local issues.
Sivanandhan’s circular asks the police to promptly take cognisance of complaints lodged by activists. Their request for police protection will also be expedited immediately.
The move comes after attacks on two activists. Satish Shetty, Right To Information activist was allegedly murdered outside his home near Pune in January. Shetty was murdered days after unidentified persons fired outside Mumbai activist Nayana Kathpalia’s home in south Mumbai.
The eight-point circular says if an activist files a complaint, the police should at least keep him or her informed about the facts of the case.
It says the senior police inspector of the police station will attend to the case and the assistant commissioner of police will personally monitoring all such cases. Zonal and regional officers will periodically review them.
The circular also calls for immediate arrests where required, and preventive action be taken where necessary.
The circular also says that in cases where it is required, the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act can be invoked and the offender be externed.
Activists welcomed the move. “Now we need to see it implemented,” said civic activist GR Vora. “The committees should be formed immediately and the machinery should be seen moving if any such incidences take place again.”
Anandini Thakoor, chairperson of the H-West Citizens’ Trust agreed. “We already have the coordination committee in place in our ward,” said Thakoor. “But I think this circular should be extended to all citizens, since they are the ones who support activists.”