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Salt Lake Holi vigil in mufti

Officers of Bidhannagar police will hit the streets in plainclothes on Dol and Holi and maintain special vigil around housing estates and multi-storeyed buildings.

“Anyone found spraying colour on others against their wishes will be arrested,” said an officer.

The decision to deploy cops in plainclothes on Sunday and Monday was taken at a meeting on Friday attended by senior officers of the Bidhannagar commissionerate and the heads of all police stations under it.

“By being in plainclothes, the officers will be able to catch the offenders red-handed. Anyone found throwing colours on people against their wishes will be arrested,” said an officer.

Action will be taken against the offenders under Section 34 of the police act (offence on road) and Section 290 (public nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code. If convicted, a person can be jailed for a maximum of eight days.

The officer said that last year the commissionerate had been flooded with complaints from Salt Lake residents, who alleged that a section of people had been throwing colour at passers-by.

“To avoid a repeat of last year’s incidents, our men in mufti will patrol on Sunday and Monday, on foot as well as on motorbikes. Woman constables and officers in plainclothes will also be posted at various crossings and vulnerable areas to ensure trouble-free revelry,” said the officer.

Gourab Mukherjee, a resident of AG block, recounted how a group had forcibly sprayed coloured water on and smeared the faces of a young couple while they were returning home after getting a relative admitted to hospital.

“The couple got off a rickshaw near Baisakhi and was walking home when some strangers sprayed colour on them. The shocked woman ran home,” said Mukherjee.

Ramapada Chatterjee, of FD block, said a group had thrown buckets of coloured water from a terrace while he was walking home from the neighbourhood park on Holi last year. “When I protested, the men on the rooftop abused me,” said Chatterjee.