Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cops told not to use police' stickers

TNN 30 November 2009, 04:10am IST

KOLKATA: Fearing Maoist attack on family members of police personnel, Kolkata Police has asked their men not to use police' sticker on their The direction was announced through a circular issued by special additional commissioner of police Debasis Roy. But most of the policemen are still ignoring the circular.

A few months ago, intelligence agencies had warned police forces that the red rebels may target policemen even when they are not on duty and Maoists may also try to abduct family members of the policemen.

"A large section of our forces hail from different districts including the three Maoists-hit districts. A good number of them own personal vehicles on which they travel in those trouble-torn areas. And most of them use police' sticker on their cars," said a senior Kolkata Police officer. He said policemen use the sticker to get some privilege, but it makes them easily identifiable.

Maoists active in Jangalmahal, however, rubbished the police claims. "We always treat lower-ranked policemen as our friends. We never target them after their duty hours and their family members are not our enemies," said a top Maoist leader.

Senior police officers are not convinced. "A few months back, rebels abducted two constables when they were on the way to Banspahari outpost to join work. They were returning from their village and both were unarmed," said a senior officer working in West Midnapore.

Though no such circulars has been issued for the state police employees, but most of the senior officers in the districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia prefer to travel by cars without red beacons or police stickers. The Kolkata Police officers ignoring the directive may be prosecuted, said a senior officer. Because according to Motor Vehicles Act they are not allowed to use such stickers. "But before taking any strong action, we have decided to warn the force again," said Debasish Roy, special additional commissioner, Kolkata Police.

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