Mumbai cops stretched, yet they'll do more
Morning news: Three years after 26/11, the city faces a 19% shortfall in the police force. Yet, police personnel have been asked to man the roads, especially on weekends.
This cannot be good news. "The city crime branch arrested Riesh Lalji Singh alias Sonu Singh (27), a resident of Varanasi, with 15 pistols he was trying to smuggle into the city on Sunday. Crime branch (unit VII) led by inspector Venkat Patil and Vinayak Vast detained Sonu after he was found moving around suspiciously near Ghatkopar railway station... We recovered 7.65 mm caliber pistols from his baggage,'' said assistant commissioner Prakash George," reports Times of India.
Considering the shortage of cops in Mumbai, it's a wonder the gun-runner was caught. "Three years after the 26/11 terror attacks, the city continues to remain vulnerable with a 19% shortfall in the police force. Only 33,287 police officers have been deputed against the sanctioned strength of 41,271 for Mumbai. This was revealed in a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by non-government organisation Praja Foundation... 'The state government has failed to recruit police personnel even after having sanctioned an additional 7,984 personnel,' said Nitai Mehta, founder trustee, Praja Foundation," reports Hindustan Times.
And despite this manpower shortage, cops will try and do more. "Police commissioner Arup Patnaik has asked senior inspectors of all 90 police stations to show their presence on the road, particularly on weekends. Sources said tourist spots such as Gateway of India, Museum, Marine Drive and the shopping hub of Colaba, which foreigners frequent, are the places that will have greater police presence. Shivaji Park, Girguam Chowpatty, Juhu Chowpatty, Bandra Bandstand, domestic as well international airports, highways, Marve, Madh Island and Gorai will also be key areas with heavy police presence,” says Times of India.
In the absence of manpower, the BMC uses technology to rein in crime. "In a bid to tighten security in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to track and record parking details of vehicles. The civic administration will adopt a web-based parking system wherein its public pay-and-park facilities will produce computerised parking receipts and the data will be simultaneously transferred to its centralised server," says Indian Express.
More use of technology, this time to aid commuters. "The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has set the ball rolling for setting up a smart card-based single ticket system for all modes of transport in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. All public transport operators, except Railways, have confirmed their participation in the project. The MMRDA has invited requests for qualifications for setting up an integrated ticketing system that will enable
commuters to travel across the proposed monorail, Metro rail and public transport buses in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli and Navi Mumbai with a single smart card,” according to the Indian Express.
Very unusual request from Jigna Vora. "Journalist Jigna Vora, arrested in connection with the murder of senior scribe Jyotirmoy Dey, filed an application in the Mumbai special court Tuesday seeking restriction on media coverage... 'Vora's lawyer has submitted a prayer stating that media should be restrained from writing about this case or publishing what has been recorded by the respective court of police officials,' Special Public Prosecutor Dilip Shah said," reports DNA.
A quick scan of the papers tells us that much has happened in Mumbai city on Saturday...