A church decked up before Christmas in Asansol. Picture by Santosh Kumar Mandol
Durgapur, Dec. 27: The Asansol-Durgapur police commissionerate has decided to deploy lady police personnel in fancy party dresses near hotels and pubs in the twin towns to catch eve-teasers and drunken revellers prowling the streets after New Year’s Eve bashes.
A back-up team of plainclothesmen will keep watch at a distance, ready to rush to the aide of their lady counterparts if needed.
“We are giving extra emphasis on keeping women safe from any untoward situation and have decided to deploy lady police personnel and policemen in plain clothes at shopping malls, hotels and areas where people will come in large number to celebrate New Year’s Eve,” said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police (east).
“Many hotels and clubs are also organising New Year’s Eve parties and we will be keeping watch there too. The special measure will continue till January 1 night,” he added.
Asked if the lady police personnel were trained for such under-cover operations, an officer said: “Training in secret operations and disguise is given at the time of recruitment.”
But will the police deploy male cops to control same-sex harassment at a time Supreme Court has upheld Section 377, recriminalising gay sex, the officer said: “We have never received such complaints.”
The police arrested 52 people on Christmas night for drink driving, eve-teasing and indecent behaviour in public.
The police will also monitor CCTV footage from big hotels and bars in the towns every hour. Motorcycle-borne police teams will patrol the party zones from evening to late night.
“Hotel and pub owners have been asked to make sure that all CCTV cameras are active from December 30 to January 1. Every moment of parties must be recorded. We will monitor the footage every hour to keep a watch on guests. The motorcycle-borne police teams will reach crime spots fast, followed by personnel in cars,” Yadav said.
Two police personnel will be on each bike, he added.
Dance troupes and singers from abroad and Mumbai perform at the bars and hotels of Asansol and Durgapur on New Year’s Eve, a trend that started a few years ago. A large number of people, especially young couples, attend the programmes.
The hotels offer party packages that include drinks, cocktails, snacks and dinner.
Police teams will patrol picnic spots in and around the twin towns too. There are several picnic spots such as Maithan, Bathanbari, Nehru (Lamiyah) Park and Anand Amusement Park.
“We have told personnel from the police lines to do duty at the police stations during this period. A large number of plainclothesmen will be deployed at picnic spots from morning to avoid any untoward incident. We will keep our quick-response teams on stand-by at police stations. The CCTV cameras in busy markets and shopping malls will help us keep track of the situation from the control room,” said Suresh Kumar, the additional deputy commissioner of police (central).