The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We Ask You Answer
Stranger under rented roof

Deba Prasad Bhattacharyya,

Does any police station keep a ready reckoner of the owners of houses under its jurisdiction' Nevertheless, every house-owner should inform the local police station at the time of letting out the house as it is not possible for him\ her to know all about the tenants. In the context of extremist activities in the state, if any house-owner intentionally ignores informing the police about the tenants it should be a punishable offence. In fact, house-owners keep away from the police as they are afraid of being harassed unnecessarily.

Amitava Mukherjee,

No. It’s impossible for house-owners to inform the police at the right time about their tenants. How can a house-owner get information about tenants who are strangers' You can’t see crime on anyone’s face. Even if they try, house-owners may not get the right information. If this becomes compulsory, tenants will be hard to find.

Debyani Basu,

Of late, militants are trying to live incognito as tenants in Bengal. They find a safe shelter here for running their destructive activities in the west and the Northeast, as security is slack here. So we must be careful in screening tenants. Whenever a stranger comes to hire a house we must collect as much information as we can on his identity and inform the local police. This should be legalised. Heavy penalty should be imposed on house-owners in the event of failure to give timely information to the police. Besides, neighbours should keep an eye on tenants and inform the police if something is amiss.

Arunava Bose Chowdhury,

The idea, no doubt, is logical but before penalising house-owners it should be made mandatory for them to furnish information on the tenants to the police stations. Besides, house-owners must be made aware that as peace-loving citizens, they should co-operate with the administration in this regard. Otherwise they might have to face unnecessary trouble because of their tenants. Only appealing to the house-owners, the procedure that has been followed in some police stations, will serve no purpose.

Md. Ayub,
Bright Street.

Yes, house-owners should be penalised if they fail to inform the police about tenants. Many house-owners in Calcutta let out their houses at high rents for a short period to Bangladeshi and Northeast students and Kashmiri shawlwallahs. They do not ask for proper identities from the tenants and are not even bothered about informing the local police stations. Calcutta is a soft target for terrorists. So, we, the people of the city, must unitedly help Calcutta Police in its fight against terrorism.

Piyal Mukherjee,
Lake Town.

In the wake of the recent spurt in unlawful activities carried on by a section of tenants, police should be informed about the whereabouts of the tenants so that a close watch may be kept on their activities. Moreover, this will safeguard the interest of the house-owners, by ensuring that tenants do not drag them into unnecessary hazards. House-owners should be penalised for not informing law enforcing authorities about their tenants.

Danish Khan,
College Street.

Yes, this will help check the malpractices which the tenants may carry on under the house-owner’s roof. So, the house-owners should be forced to inform the police about the tenants, to avoid getting into trouble themselves.

Sushma Jalan,

The relationship between a house-owner and a tenant is usually based on faith. There are thousands of house-owners who have rented out their premises to strangers. It is not possible for every house-owner to keep an eye on the activities of his tenants all the time. An incident like what happened in the house of Upen Biswas takes place once in a blue moon. Hence penalising house-owners will not solve any problem. If crime has to be brought down, the police will have to be more efficient and alert. It is certainly the duty of all citizens, be they house-owners or tenants, to help the authorities do their work.

Saadia Sitwat,
Linton Street.

Yes, definitely. It is the landlord’s duty to keep track of his tenants and report any suspicious movements to lawmen. If the tenants come under a cloud, then the persons responsible for providing shelter to them must be hauled up. We can keep ourselves out of trouble as much as possible by being a little alert.

Kamalika Nandy,

The tenant as well as the house-owner must be held equally guilty when it comes to meting out punishment. Before taking in a tenant, the house-owner must collect relevant information regarding him/ her. Second, he must keep his eyes open about incidents taking place in his house. In case of any suspicious activities, he must inform the police. If in spite of knowing everything he does not take any step, then he should be penalised. It may also be the case that the tenant has provided false information. In that case, the landlord cannot be blamed.

R.K. Nandy,
Lenin Sarani.

The landlord must inform the police about his tenants.

Sunil Banerjee,
VIP Road.

This is a pertinent question in the wake of unscrupulous activities resorted to by some tenants these days. If some unlawful activity happens on the premises of his tenants, the house-owner should surely be blamed in case he had failed to provide the police with testimonials along with photographs of his tenants before taking them in. The recent predicament of former CBI additional director Upen Biswas should act as an eye-opener.

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