Molesters, watch out! You're on camera this Ganpati
Mumbai Police will be armed with video cameras to record incidents of molestation and shame the culprits in front of family and friends; squads will be deputed to major mandals to nab the culprits
This Ganeshotsav, it’s not just the elephant god who will be watching over your family. Mumbai police has formed special squads to capture perverts, who take advantage of huge crowds at Ganesh mandals and molest women, on camera. Police will show this clip to his family and friends to shame him, and will, of course, register a case.
Last year, mid-day photographer Atul Kamble had captured the shocking incident of perverts molesting women at the hugely popular Lalbaugcha Raja mandal. An FIR was lodged against the unidentified men after mid-day’s report was published.
Police will be specially vigilant on important days during the festival and the visarjan day, in order to nab molesters. Pic for representation
The squads will be deployed at major Ganesh mandals in the city like Lalbaug, Ganesh Galli, Girgaum, Andhericha Raja, Sahyadri Mandal etc. Policemen in plainclothes will capture the culprits on video and nab them.
These pictures was clicked by Atul Kamble at the immersion procession of Lalbaugcha Raja in Parel a year ago. An FIR was registered against the culprits, following mid-day’s front page report on September 20, 2013
Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria said, “These anti- eve-teasing squads will keep an eye on all places where there are huge crowds. Some people come just to take advantage and misbehave with women.
Constables will be in plainclothes on bikes, or on foot, and will record and catch these people in the act.” While around 12 video cameras have been provided to squads all over the city, police will also record footage on their own mobile phones.
According to the cops, even if they manage to nab one person from the group, it is easy to get the others. Moreover, the accused can’t deny the charges, as there will be strong evidence against them.
The squads are in the process of being assigned to various mandals. Lalbaugcha Raja will have at least 10-12 people watching over it, sources said. Special vigilance will be seen on important days of the festival, and on visarjan day, at the mandal as well as various chowpatties. There are around 6,712 mandals in the city.
A good start
Police have already begun a trial version of this squad in the northern part of the city. The team has booked 25 students of Nirmala College, Kandivli, Pahadi School in Goregaon and some people outside Dahisar station. “We film people while sitting inside a car, or on a bike.
Our police officers are usually in plainclothes and after recording the act, we catch one of the culprits, show him the clip and summon his parents. If necessary, we register a case against the person,” explained Kishore Jadhav, additional commissioner of police, north region.
If all goes as per plan, such squads will soon monitor areas outside schools, colleges and railway stations to rein in molesters and harassers, and bring them to book. Leaves of all senior policemen have been cancelled and all have been asked to increase police presence on roads. Cops have also started taking action against drug addicts on the streets.
There are around 115 visarjan points in the city, of which 46 have been marked sensitive. Around 58,200 policemen, 12 Rapid Action Force battalions, 10 paramilitary battalions will be deployed to keep the city safe during the festival.