BENGALURU: Walking into a private hospital at Kamakshipalya police station limits at around 11pm, a couple crying over a dead boy’s body struck the eye. The 13-year-old had hung himself from a window grill inside their house after a local vendor had scared him of dire consequences as he had accidentally thrown a ball at his shop while playing.
It takes a while for the parents to recover, as the police officials on night-duty question the parents and relatives who had gathered. The traumatised father, overcome by agony, blabbers something incoherently to the police. After convincing the parents to file an official complaint regarding the unnatural death of their son, ACP HN Dharmendra of Vijayanagar Police sub-division continues his night patrol.
“It is not always traumatic like this,” he said. Though hanging from a window-grill is uncommon, the strangest hanging witnessed by him was a case when a 45-year old hung from a chair and died. “It seems unbelievable, but it does not take a lot of pressure to mortally damage the neck,” he explained.
As most of the city slept peacefully on a Friday night, several police personnel attached to various police stations patrolled its streets. During a visit to one of the police stations, the personnel grieved about the problems they face, their hectic schedule and the toll it takes on their health.“Sometimes we have 12-hour shift, sometimes 16. Sometimes we take off, sometimes they are cancelled. Is there adequate compensation for the job?” constable questions.
“Have you wondered why there are so many bike thefts in Bengaluru?” asks Dharmendra as we drive pasts bikes and cars parked on the sides of the road at Magadi Road Police Station limits. It doesn’t take much effort these days to break the locking system of a bike, he observed.“Parking it recklessly on the sides of the road is like an invitation for thieves to rob it,” he added.
Station of pain
The Vijayanagar police station limits has multiple CCTV cameras installed in its limits with visuals beamed directly to screens inside the station. The reason for the proactive measure – soon to be replicated in stations elsewhere – is that Vijayanagar is notorious for chain-snatching.
The higher rate of chain-snatching had an adverse affect on the number of personnel at the station. “As the number of such cases increased, people started to request transfers. Today, we are short of hands. We are expecting 20 more men who were selected during the recent recruitment to report soon,” an official said.
The sub-division has a variety of issues to tackle, such as rowdy elements hacking each other’s necks to communal elements that want to tear up the society, cops say.