With New Year’s Eve just a few days away, the Bengaluru police are gearing up to avert any untoward incident like last year. Security has been beefed up, specifically in and around the Central Business District (CBD), across the city, officials told The Quint.
Despite stringent safety measures last year, several women were allegedly molested on MG Road and Brigade Road in Bengaluru on New Year’s Eve. The women were also allegedly molested, harassed, and eve-teased, with some of them forced to remove their slippers to flee the spot.
Bengaluru Commissioner of Police T Suneel Kumar has filed an affidavit in the Karnataka High Court detailing the steps required to ensure a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
From multiple checkpoints for drunken driving to an increased number of patrol vehicles, the city police say they have charted out a plan of action to avoid a repeat of last year.
Meetings With Hotels, Pub Owners
Police personnel have collaborated with stakeholders, like pub owners and hotel managers, and have given them instructions with regards to safety measures to be taken. “The police has asked us to install CCTV cameras, both within and outside the premises. They have also directed us to maintain a record of the names of the guests and their phone numbers,” Kumar K, manager, Wyt Pub, told The Quint.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Karnataka High Court seeking a ban on the sale of liquor during New Year’s Eve, in the light of incidents of mass molestation reported during the same time last year.
“Drunk mischief mongers are the ones who tend to create trouble. Hence we have issued notices to many of the bars and clubs to keep an eye out for people who misbehave after excessive drinking,” Chethan Singh Rathor, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), told The Quint.
Separate Barricades & CCTV Cameras
“Women’s safety is definitely a matter of concern in areas like Brigade Road and MG Road. Hence, we are planning to set up barricades to segregate men and women,” a senior police officer told The Quint.
Around 500 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been allocated and installed across prime areas. “A set of police officers will be in charge of monitoring the CCTV footage and provide live feedback to the cops on the ground. We are even planning to use drone cameras this time,” said Seemanth Kumar Singh, Additional Commissioner of Police.
The police also said it was planning to increase patrolling.
“Thousands of police officers with reflective jackets will be deployed along with 272 patrolling vehicles to control the crowd. Several floodlights will also be installed so as to provide more visibility,” said ACP Singh.
The traffic police too have joined in. They plan to set up checkpoints to monitor cases of drunk driving.
There will be multiple points where officers will be deployed to check drunken driving from 10 pm onwards on 31 December. The susceptible and sensitive areas have been earmarked.R Hitendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic)
Public Wary of Stepping Out
The horrors of New Year’s Eve 2016 is still fresh in the minds of residents, with several pubs and restaurants reporting low bookings this year.
We have received only 10 percent bookings so far, while last year all the tickets had been sold out. As a precautionary measure, we have called for over 50 bouncers as against 15 the previous year.Harsha Shetty, co-owner, Nolimmits Lounge & Club
“I am planning to throw a party at home. I am not willing to take any chances of going to a cafe or pub,” Pooja Raghu, who works in the city, told The Quint.
Srinidhi Rao, a student, said that it was sad that things went out of control despite 1,500 police officers being deployed on MG Road and Brigade Road last year.
I hope we don’t repeat the same mistake this time.Srinidhi Rao, student