Under the drive against those riding two-wheelers with covered faces, the city police have booked more than 60 people so far, but the residents feel that the police have failed in curbing incidents of snatching and theft, which are occurring regularly in the city.
Agitated over the drive, the Sikh Students federation (Mehta) has criticised the drive being run by the police and said that the police should focus more on curbing the crime than harassing common people by booking them for covering faces while driving.
While Amritsar police say the drive would go on and more would be booked if they are seen covering faces.
“There is not even a single day when a snatching or a bike theft does not take place in the city, but the police are busy booking people, who are covering faces due to various reasons, this drive is nothing but a shield to cover their incapability of curbing crime in the city,” said district president of the federation (Mehta) Amarbir Singh Dhot.
Gagandeep Singh of the federation stated, “It is unfortunate that snatchers are roaming about freely and innocent people are being targeted. The Sikh youths are being harassed as they cover their faces to protect their beards and mouth from dust due to the increasing pollution level.”
He said the people wearing helmet are being taken for granted to be innocent persons, but those covering their face even with a handkerchief are being targeted.
“Police should catch hold of anti-social elements, who are roaming about freely. It has become difficult to walk in the streets , neither we can drive during lean hours comfortably because there is a fear of snatchers and theft of our bags. If this drive helps in making them cautious then it should be taken ahead but if it is not giving any result, then it should be stopped,” said Richa Sharma, a law student from the city.
Azad Singh, a bank employee, said, “When a problem grows to a certain level, it has to be curbed and some tough measures need to be taken.
Finally, the police is seen organising nakkas, which is an unusual sight in the city, these nakas should be a regular affair as it can definitely streamline the inefficient system. Thefts should be curbed as it is a shame that every second day two- wheeler thefts are increasing in the city.”
POLICE ASK FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) J Elanchezhian, who is supervising the drive started by police commissioner Amar Singh Chahal, said, “We are working on curbing crime, and if we have to do it in an effective way we cannot make distinctions on the basis of religion or caste as law is equal for all and everyone needs to obey it . People criticising the police should realise this is being done for their safety and not ours.”
On the extent of the success of the drive, he said, “We know the people are not happy with this drive as we are booking drivers with covered faces, but they should realise that criminals have the tendency to cover their faces while committing a crime. There is particular trend in crime in every city, and in Amritsar this drive is mandatory to curb crime.”
The DCP said that these special nakas would definitely make anti-social elements cautious that would help curb crime in the city, he said.
“Today, these measures may be bothering the people, but over time this would not only benefit the residents, but also the cops, who would gain experience and learn whom to stop and whom to let go. I would just say, we aren’t running from our responsibility, rather we are tackling crime seriously and the change would be seen with time,” asserted the DCP.
Earlier, the DCP had said that as per the orders of the police commissioner, people were warned ahead of the drive but they failed to shun the practice and now we have started registering cases against the violators.