Trouble or tragedy must not shroud the last few nights of the year. Even as the city readies to party till the next year dawns, police are taking steps to ensure that the revelry does not turn riotous. Like it had on December 31, 2002, with tragic consequences for sergeant Bapi Sen.
With three days to go in 2003, police have decided not to take chances and to enforce a code of conduct of sorts. Officers of various police stations — especially those close to nightclubs — have already been alerted to “keep the city incident-free” on New Year’s eve.
“It is not a crackdown on revellers. We have no intention to play spoilsport. We will extend all assistance to those who are out to enjoy themselves that night. What we want is to keep the city free of any untoward incident,” said deputy commissioner, south division, Anuj Sharma.
While there is no mention of the Bapi Sen tragedy, the shadow cast by the eve-teasing incident, that snowballed into the murder of the cop by some of his drunk colleagues, cannot be missed.
Senior police officers, including the deputy commissioner of police, south division, held a string of meetings with nightclub managers last week. “They have been told to take some extra measures to keep revellers under control. They agreed and assured us that they would try their best,” said Sharma.
The arrest of 91 youths on Christmas from near a disco on Park Street, on charges of misbehaviour, set the tone for things to come on December 31. A large number of policemen, almost double that of last year, under the supervision of an officer of assistant commissioner rank, were deployed in the Park Street area.
“We have initiated a drive to keep the pavements in front of discos free for pedestrians,” said Sharma, adding that policemen have been taking up position near these revelry points for the past few nights to ensure security for all.
“As the revellers will be on the streets throughout New Year’s eve, we have decided to strengthen street surveillance,” added a senior official.
But why not a serious curb on drunken driving' The traffic wing of Calcutta Police has promised to a take a tough stand. “We will go by law. The moment we find anyone driving in an intoxicated state, he or she will be arrested and booked under the specific act,” said Peeyush Pandey, deputy commissioner of police, traffic department.