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Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop hub a security sieve

The Visva-Bharati killing is an eye-opener for Calcutta police, turning the focus on lax security at its establishments across the city.

Amaresh Kundu, accused of killing Visva-Bharati student Saswati Pal, reportedly stole the duty revolver of a constable of Tollygunge police station, where he worked as a cook.

Police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti held an “emergency meeting” at Lalbazar on Monday to discuss the lax security at police stations and barracks.

A stung Lalbazar has learnt after an inquiry, which followed the killing, that many constables do not deposit their revolvers in the armoury after duty hours. Several even carry the arms with them when they visit their ancestral home in the districts or other states.

“This is a general practice, which must stop. The additional officers-in-charge of all 48 police stations in the city have been asked to visit the armoury every day to find out whether the cops have deposited their weapons after duty,” said an officer at Lalbazar.

The inquiry also revealed that the barracks in most police station have turned into a mess for relatives of the constables, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

“Outsiders cannot stay in the barracks. The officers-in-charge (OCs) of the police stations have been asked to evict the outsiders, failing which they will face action,” the officer added. The OCs have also been asked to check the antecedents of those working in the barracks mess.

According to rules, the OCs must inspect the barracks twice a week to find out whether outsiders are staying there.

“A police station is not a guest house where anyone can be allowed to stay without the consent of the authorities. Action will be taken if there is any violation of the norm,” asserted Vineet Goyal, the deputy commissioner of police (headquarters).

A source said whenever relatives of constables from the districts or other states visit the city, they put up in the police barracks. “Let alone taking permission, the cops do not even bother to inform their superiors about their stay. This can lead to a dangerous situation,” said a senior officer, hinting at the Amaresh Kundu episode.

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