In a first, Haryana will have tourist police to ensure safety and security of visitors. The facility will be introduced in Kurukshetra district on a permanent basis.
In June 2012, the then Karnal superintendent of police (SP), Shashank Anand, had launched the highway tourist police project where a special 10-member team was working only during the peak tourist seasons — in June, December and January. A select band of 30 cops of the Kurukshetra police will man four help desks — two at Bhramsarovar and one each at Jyotisar and Shekh Chehli’s tomb.
Apart from ensuring tourist security, the cops will also be imparted lessons in courtesy and good behaviour to assist the visitors.
Jyotisar is one of the most revered holy sites of Kurukshetra. The site has a banyan tree under which, it is believed, Lord Krishna delivered the sermon of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. The holy tanks of Bhramasarovar and its adjoining Sanehit Sarovar also have religious significance. Tomb of Sufi saint Sheikh Chehli is being looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and famous ancient temples of Sthaneshwar and Bhadrakali are also located in the vicinity.
Wearing orange jackets over their traditional khaki, the cops will patrol the tourist areas round-the-clock.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar will launch the tourist police system during his visit to Kurukshetra on Thursday. As lakhs of tourists visit Kurukshetra, safety and security of the visitors was always a challenge for the local authorities. Superintendent of police Simardeep Singh said there were numerous complaints where visitors were fleeced and harassed by anti-social elements. A special three-day soft skill camp was organised for the selected cops where they were sensitised towards concept of tourist police.
The SP said the presence of tourist cops would boost a sense of security among the visitors and there would be a continuous check on criminal activities.
“Four police help kiosks will be set up at three designated places where they will provide prompt assistance on any issue to the tourists. Teams will also keep a watch on auto-rickshaw drivers, guides and agents so the visitors are not overcharged,” he said.
Initially, the tourist police will patrol on foot, but the district police have planned to get battery-operated two-wheelers and cars for them through private partnership.