Unique circle and hard-pressed cops
THE HEART of Bhopal is the area around the ancient Kotwali where once sat the Shahar Kotwal. But this bustling area that has a distinction of having under its jurisdiction no less than 170-odd important temples and mosques poses a unique problem for the police.india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 15:47 IST
THE HEART of Bhopal is the area around the ancient Kotwali where once sat the Shahar Kotwal. But this bustling area that has a distinction of having under its jurisdiction no less than 170-odd important temples and mosques poses a unique problem for the police.
The Kotwali circle that is spread over an area of barely 5 sq km (out of 2,772 sq km of the district) is the smallest police circle in Bhopal but the exceptionally large number of places of worship leaves the police exasperated.
“There are so many temples and mosques that on festival days the force has to be deployed in security, pickets and traffic arrangements around the temples and mosques”, says CSP Shailendra Singh Chauhan. Chauhan says that almost all the big temples and mosques (except Tajul Masajid) fall in this area.
The figures are staggering: 101 mosques and 52 temples apart from 15 mazaars. These are apart from smaller places of worship. Police officials say that on sensitive occasions 30 pickets are put up and this leaves the police stations almost vacant.
The Kotwali police station has strength of 54 policemen including the Station House Officer, Sub-Inspectors, ASIs, Head Constables, constables, driver, sentry, muharrir and munshi, who work in three shifts.
“On any important festival the police station has just the ‘muharrir’ and the ‘munshi’ as the entire staff is deployed in
policing and deployed at the mosques and temples”, says a policeman at the Kotwali police station on conditions of
Notwithstanding this uniqueness of Kotwali circle, the large number of mosques and temples hits the crime investigation because the police officials are mostly busy in maintaining law-and-order, VIP duty and arranging traffic at places of worship. Even on Friday, the majority of staff at the police stations is deployed at the major mosques where the Friday prayers are offered.
The Kotwali circle has four police stations including Kotwali, Talaiya, Mangalwara and the Shamla Hills. Still, it accounts for a micro minuscule 0.18 per cent of the area of Bhopal district.
The Kotwali police station has 13 temples and 32 mosques, Talaiya police station has 22 temples and 53 mosques, Mangalwara has 7 temples and 9 mosques while Shamla Hills has 10 temples and 7 mosques. Apart from these, there are several small places of worship.