Members of the bike squad keep vigil in Bistupur in the run-up to Durga Puja on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Rogue revellers beware! You will be hunted swiftly.
The East Singhbhum district police have set up three gun and baton-armed bike squads — also equipped with breathalysers and wireless sets — to trap rash and drunk drivers, besides rowdy pandal-hoppers, from Saturday.
SSP Akhilesh Kumar Jha said each squad would comprise 24 men in uniform on 12 mean machines. “We have identified three zones in the city, where the bike squads will patrol to keep trouble-mongers at bay. These are Kadma-Sonari-Bistupur, Sakchi-Golmuri-Burmamines and Telco areas.”
More than 280 Durga Pujas are organised in the steel city. About two dozen of them are strong crowd magnets and most of them fall in these three zones.
Jha maintained that though triple-riding would be allowed during the five days of Durga Puja, not wearing helmets and creating inconvenience for others would invite action. “Vehicles creating nuisance will be seized and the owner/rider prosecuted under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code,” he added.
On the need to deploy bike squads, Jha said criminals and eve-teasers use two-wheelers as escape vehicle, and it was time they were reined in.
“Rogues on roads are common during festivals. They tease women and cause inconvenience to families on pandal tours. Our men on bikes will make your Puja night out safe,” the senior officer added.
He said random checks would be conducted in the three identified zones. Anyone suspected to be under the influence of alcohol while driving will be put through breath test. If the test is positive, detention or even arrest is likely.
“Clashes among young groups are common during festivals and our aim is to prevent such incidents. Policemen on bikes will help to maintain law and order more effectively,” the SSP said.
He added that his deputies had been asked to monitor the movement of the bike squads and give necessary directives as and when situations arise.
Jha said the bike squads would be on special duty on all the four days — from Mahashashthi to Mahanavami. “They will remain extra vigilant from Saptami to Navami,” he added.