Poop cuffs order fails to raise stink

Jamshedpur: Six days after Kolhan commissioner Birendra Mohan Kumar issued arrest orders for open defecators, East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan police have not managed to nab a single person doing the deed.

East Singhbhum's Jamshedpur and Seraikela-Kharsawan's Adityapur have crowded localities near rivers Subernarekha and Kharkai where people defecate openly on banks and under bridges. Also, railway tracks, deserted fields and bushes at strategic places are haunts for those who don't use toilets.

Thousands of urban slum residents, migrant labour and the homeless - many being women and children - sully these spaces.

But, till Sunday, despite the commissioner's order that patrolling teams be deployed 24/7, the police have not managed to arrest an offender

While Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Chandan Sinha hailed the order as a "good step to instil fear among offenders", he also admitted that they could not arrest anyone so far.

DSP (headquarters II) Kailash Karmali, under whose jurisdiction river areas of Kadma and Sonari in Jamshedpur fall, told the paper on Sunday they could not spot anyone openly defecating but added patrolling was being done as per orders.

Sonari thana OC Anuj Kumar admitted scores of slum dwellers defecated in the open, especially along the Subernarekha and also the Kadma-Sonari Marine Drive. "We will definitely act against them," he said.

Policemen off the record said the rains last week impeded their efforts. Many also expressed doubts over the protocol to arrest women and children if caught defecating. "Mahila police patrolling will also have to be deployed in such cases," a policeman said.

Kolhan commissioner Kumar who issued the order last week, said he was inspecting Chhath ghats along Kharkai at Adityapur when residents drew his attention to filth due to open defecation.

"The government is providing septic tank to every individual household and community septic tanks to stop open defecation. Still, some people relieve themselves in the open as a habit. I decided to immediately put the onus on police patrolling teams to bring an end to the practice," commissioner Kumar said.


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