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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Free run for killers

Call it a technological handicap! Police are finding it difficult to bring killers on the city roads to book due to the absence of recording facilities for the feed from its closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs).

Eleven CCTVs were installed at important intersections in Calcutta this year as part of a modernisation plan of the traffic police.

“This is a problem that has to be addressed soon. Since we do not have the recording facility, the CCTVs can only be useful if somebody keeps monitoring them round-the-clock, but that is practically impossible,” stated joint commissioner (administration) Kuldiep Singh.

According to him, the force will soon buy the software required to record the feed from the CCTVs. “Talks are on with some software companies. Once the software and the server are ready, we will be able to start recording the feed,” Singh asserted.

Police records list over 300 fatal hit-and-runs in the city over the past two years involving drivers who could not be identified.

“We prepare a gazette every year, listing accidents in which the drivers remain unidentified. Most of them cannot be tracked down owing to lack of coordination between the Fatal Squad Team (FST) and local police stations. Getting away scot-free makes the drivers bolder even more rash,” said a traffic officer.

He continued: “It is the responsibility of the FST to locate the killer drivers, while the police stations under whose jurisdiction the accidents occur are supposed to frame the charges.”

Police often spend time grilling the families of the victims and witnesses, which eventually leads to nothing. Take the case of businessman Atanu Chatterjee. A couple of months ago, he was knocked down by a taxi on Chittaranjan Avenue. He survived, but the driver responsible is yet to be located. “What faith will ordinary people have in the system'” asked Chatterjee.

“We’re trying to form a special team that will work in tandem with the FST to track down the killer drivers,” said a traffic department officer.

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