A residential colony in Tharpakhna, Ranchi, where rooms are offered on rent
Homes, hostels and lodges may stop being hideouts for terror suspects, rebels and other criminals, if Ranchi police manage to start implementing their ambitious tenant verification scheme from August 1.
Ranchi senior superintendent of police (SSP) Prabhat Kumar said that they were planning a drive to sensitise and encourage thousands of landowners in the capital to apply for tenant verification. Modalities for this were in the process of being worked out to start the scheme from next month, the SSP added.
On July 17, The Telegraph carried a report (Uniform Omission), on how despite increasing security threats, tenant verification was an ignored issue due to public and police apathy.
Conceding failure, SSP Kumar said they would start “vigorous efforts” from August by making available application forms for landlords at all police stations.
“The forms in question-answer format will demand basic information such as names, phone numbers, addresses and passport-sized photographs of tenants and landlords. We will ask landlords concerned to take copies from their respective thanas, fill the data and submit the forms to us. In a week or 10 days, police will get back to landlords with a full account of the tenant’s identity,” he said.
According to the SSP, the police would verify the tenant’s credentials at both his temporary and permanent addresses and would give him a clean chit only when thanas of both places certify him.
Kumar claimed tenant verification had been neglected because most landlords didn’t know which documents were needed or how to draft an application. “These were major deterrents, which is why we thought of a format for everyone’s convenience,” he said.
Some have called the drive too naïve to make much impact. “Why will a landlord come up to the thana on his own? Most are scared of greedy policemen who want a cut from rent earnings. Else, they don’t want issues like taxation or the status of their registration with Ranchi Municipal Corporation to come out. It is easier to keep mum on tenants,” a policeman said.
An undeterred SSP is eager for the project to take off. He said: “Outside every thana, a copy of the form will be pasted with a message on tenant verification. We will put ads in newspapers soon. All OCs will hold regular meetings with peace committee members, to keep tabs on verification cases.”
Since last October’s serial blasts in Patna, security agencies have tracked handlers and conduits to Sithio and Ormanjhi on Ranchi outskirts, the probe baring how youths with dubious links could easily stay in the city as tenants and boarders.
On July 13, PLFI zonal commander Bhushan Lakra was nabbed by Ranchi and Gumla police teams from a Morabadi house. Lakra had changed his identity to live as a tenant in the posh locality.