D.J. Halli violence: New police station to come up at Govindapura
The Home Ministry has carved out a new police station at Govindapura, which has been carved out of the jurisdictions of the D.J. Halli and K.G. Halli police stations, which were hit by violence on August 11. The move is aimed at strengthening policing in the ‘area, which is prone to a high crime rate and law and order issues, like seen recently’, said a senior official.
All three police stations have now been reorganised as a police sub-division to be headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).
The move, reportedly spearheaded by the Home Minister, has not only come under severe criticism by activists as “politically motivated and communally targeted”, but has also caused dissatisfaction among the police brass for reportedly being kept in the dark, sources said.
“While a new police station has been carved out, no new staff has been sanctioned, which defeats the purpose of a new station in the area,” said a police officer. At the same time, he argued that once staffed, it will help the police tackle the growing crime rate and population density.
Another officer justified the development citing the violence on August 11 when both D.J. Halli and K.G. Halli stations were attacked by mobs. “There is an element of lawlessness in the area. There is a need for the police to dominate the area,” said the officer.
However, the approach of increasing policing as a solution to the recent violence in the area has come under severe criticism.
“A preliminary analysis of August 11 violence shows that there is a lack of trust between citizens and the police, which was at the root of the violence. The problem is not less policing but bad policing,” said Vinay Sreenivasa, a member of a citizen-led fact-finding committee that examined the violent attacks.
Senior human rights advocate B.T. Venkatesh said, “The problem is that governments see everything through the prism of law and order. Clamping down on the area with more police may end up worsening the problem. The move seems to be politically motivated with communal undertones.”
Activists pointed out that the rise in crime and violence cannot be addressed in isolation. “There are many social aspects, like high rate of unemployment and malnutrition, as documented in the fact-finding report. It was here that a six-year-old girl died of malnutrition in 2013. If the government has acknowledged high prevalence of drug abuse in the area, why not open rehabilitation centres,” said Mr. Sreenivasa.