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Will try to make police sensitive: Agarwala

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, June 16 � Making the city police force sensitive to the expectations of the people will be one of the main goals of Mukesh Agarwala, the new police Commissioner of Guwahati city. He also admitted that many challenges lie ahead for the police in the ever-growing city.

In an interview to The Assam Tribune after taking over as City Police Commissioner today, Agarwala said crime control and citizen-centric policing would be his immediate tasks. He pointed out that all the crimes including thefts, burglaries, crimes against women and children etc, bother the common people and checking those would be the main task before the police.

The City Police Commissioner admitted that as Guwahati is growing at a very rapid pace, the challenges before the law enforcing agency are also growing. Because of a huge floating population coming in and going out of the city every day, the criminals, particularly those involved in crimes against property, find themselves in an advantageous position and they can easily mingle with the floating population to go out of the city after committing a crime. With the change of time, new types of crimes are being committed, which include vehicle thefts, cyber crimes etc. The police will also have to coordinate with other agencies to deal with cyber crime. Moreover, with the rapid growth in the number of vehicles, traffic control has become a major challenge for the police.

On threats from militants, Agarwala admitted that any militant or anti-national element would always try to do something in Guwahati to gain attention. Being the gateway to the north-eastern region, Guwahati is always vulnerable to militant attacks and police and security forces would have to remain alert all the time to thwart any such attempt by anti-national forces.

Replying to a question, Agarwala admitted that there is a need for improving quality of investigation and stress would be given to timely and better investigation of all the cases registered at the police stations.

Stressing the need for improving police-public relations, Agarwala pointed out that the neighbourhood watch scheme of the UK is the role model for all in this regard. He said that efforts would be made to revive the citizens� committees and list of people living in all the localities would be compiled in a phased manner. He sought support of all sections of people of the city and solicited suggestions for improving policing. He said that the police would approach all sections of people seeking their help in controlling crimes in the city. In rural areas, the VDPs play a vital role in controlling crimes, while the people themselves also keep watch on their neighbourhood. Such a system needs to be introduced in the towns and cities also, he added.

Agarwala revealed that a drive against drunken driving would be launched from tonight, while efforts would be made to augment night patrolling by using all the available resources.

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