City women will be able to let their hair down and bring in the New Year tonight without fear, if police plans are anything to go by.
The police — sensitised to the vulnerability of women following the nationwide alarm over increasing crimes against women — have roped in Karate experts to ensure that women are safe and secure during the revelry.
According to cops, 25 black belt Karate experts, including 20 women, will accompany the police squad and keep a watch on party venues to restrain the lumpen elements during the New Year celebration.
“With this initiate, we intent to tackle untoward incident like sexual harassment of female partygoers, unwanted brawls, rash and drunk driving. The Karate experts are well-trained to deal with such situations,” said Commissioner of Police Gulabrao Pol.
He added that the decision of taking help from Karate experts was taken in the meeting that was called to discuss the police bandobast for the New Year eve.
The Pune police have decided to train 147 newly recruited women constables and female college students in Karate. “These 25 people have even volunteered to help police impart training to their new female recruits from January 2013,” he added.
Bhanupratap Barge, PI, social security cell, said that the police have formed four squads that will be led by women police officers. A squad will be deployed in each Zone, and will have four-five Karate experts accompany them.
Speaking about the bandobast tonight, Pol said that leaves of the entire police force working under Pune Commissionerate have been cancelled, and that there would 8,500 police personnel, including senior officials, on the streets to ensure no unpleasant incident occurs. “Besides, there will be women police personnel in plain cloths to tackle the sexual harassment of female partygoers,” he said.
He added that hotels, bars and restaurants have been asked not to keep the establishment open after 1.30 am. The restaurants and bars have been asked to adhere to the deadline of 12 mid-night for using loudspeakers and playing music. “Those found violating the deadline will be punished severely,” he said.
Pol added that only those who have sought prior police permission for conducting parties would be allowed, while those organising parties illegally would be booked.