A much-needed Anti-Rowdy Squad (ARS) is being kept on the back-burner by the state government despite a series of gang wars and rowdy killings disturbing the city’s peace. The ARS remains a mere concept despite the state government’s promise to form the squad in August after BML Krishnappa’s murder by rival gang members in Nelamangala.
The formation of an ARS is especially considered crucial by several senior police officials as such a squad would be authorised to curtail rowdy activities in the city’s rural outskirts, which have emerged as refuges for rowdies and anti-social elements to commit crime or escape to after a crime.
Apart from the 104 law and order police stations in Bangalore there is also Central Crime Branch (CCB). But neither have jurisdictional powers in Bangalore rural where no separate agencies exist apart from the rural police, many of who are suspected to be in cahoots with the active gangs of anti-social elements. Hence the need for an ARS.
After Krishnappa’s murder by rival gang members who followed his car from Seshadripuram to Nelamangala (where he was killed), home minister R Ashoka had promised that ARS would be formed “within weeks”.
He considered it very important as newly added areas to the city’s corporation — when Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) came into existence from the erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) — were not part of city police commissionerate’s jurisdiction.
However, now it appears that the promise was a mere statement without action. Recently, during the inauguration of the SMS gateway under Sakala, Ashoka spoke of meeting with police commissioner BG Jyothiprakash Mirji and the CCB, to strengthen the latter to maintain a stronger vigil on rowdy activities within the city. But that leaves the rural outskirts — the safe haven for rowdies — out of the plans.
When DNA questioned Ashoka about the ARS, he said “Right now we will strengthen the CCB; later we shall concentrate on other things.” DG & IGP of Karnataka, Lalrokhuma Pachau, told DNA, “There is no need for ARS at present. Whenever major crime incidents take place, the police commissionerate will draw efficient police officers from various divisions and a special team will be formed. Forming of ARS is not decided.”
But when asked about the city’s outskirts, he said “If the CCB is strengthened it would not be a problem.” But will that serve the purpose?