Special Reports

Bhatkal people oppose door-to-door survey

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Bhatkal: In the name of building a good relationship between the public and the Police in this Muslim-dominated town, Bhatkal Police is now implementing the 'police beat system,' on the orders of Ajay Kumar Singh, the then director general of Police on 21  June last year.

Under this scheme,  Police constables  will be assigned to different areas and each constable would keep in touch with the elders of the area and would help them at times of need. However, this system has taken a different turn altogether. Instead of contacting the elders in each area, police have started a door-to-door survey, where they visit every house and take down information about the inmates.

A meeting was held between Bhatkal police and citizens of the town on 23 June, where a series of issues were raised regarding the door-to-door survey. While the public opposed this system, the police tried to justify their stand. Circle Police Inspector Guru Mathoor said that this beat system is not meant only for the people of a particular religion, sect or residents of Bhatkal, but according to the orders passed by the DGP this system is applicable to the whole state of Karnataka and this is being undertaken in order to prevent crime. Responding to this, residents said that this operation has not started in any other town or village of the district or the state. Residents disagreed with the police and asserted that they are not against the police beat. The police and the public should build a good rapport with each other, but they are firmly against the door-to-door survey in the name of this system. Explaining their stand, they said that it is usually women who are at home during such calls and the women have a problem when police come to their doorsteps and ask them odd questions. Residents said that if this is for a good cause and if it is happening in all the cities and towns in the district, they will lend support to the police. They said  that all general information about the residents of the town is available in the municipality office, then why police resorted to the door to door survey again ?

The police officers told the residents they will forward their views to the higher authorities and revert to the  public at the earliest.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2011 on page no. 17

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