MANGALORE: An internal survey by the police top brass has thrown up a shocking fact: the skewed police-population ratio in Dakshina Kannada district.
Against an accepted norm of 220 policemen for every lakh population, Dakshina Kannada has 35 policemen for the same population. This figure is grossly inadequate to deal with the evolving security challenges. In Bangalore, there are 17,000 policemen for a population of 86 lakh (197 policemen per 1 lakh population). And proposals sent by DK police top brass for force augmentation is hanging fire with the government.
The district has five taluks, and one taluk – Mangalore — entirely makes up the latest city police unit in Karnataka in Mangalore City Police. The remaining four taluks until recently formed the Puttur sub-division, which was one of the largest in entire Karnataka in terms of area and population. It was on January 22 that the state government approved setting up the Bantwal sub-division reaffirming a long standing demand of DK district police.
At the constabulary level which forms the bulwark of any police force, as per a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation by Superintendent of Police Abhishek Goyal, the vacancies are around 50. “We have nearly 450 policemen of the rank of head constables and constables,” Abhishek said, adding that the 13 police stations in the two sub-divisions of Puttur and Bantwal on an average have around 35 personnel including the station house officers posted there.
Given the sensitivities involved in policing in the naxalite-affected areas, the district police had sought for force augmentation for Venoor and Belthangady police stations. Admitting that the district has traditionally faced shortage of policemen, Abhishek said that it was a survey by the IGP (Western Range) Pratap Reddy that confirmed this skewed policemen-population in DK. “We have been taking up the issue with our chief office,” he said.
Also, geographically big areas of Puttur and Bantwal sub-divisions have 13 police stations, six under Bantwal and the rest under Puttur sub-division. On the other hand, Udupi, with three taluks, has 22 police stations, he said. Proposals for upgrading the existing police outposts at Nelyadi and Dharmasthala, for a local ‘outpost’ arrangement at Farangipete and a traffic police station at Bantwal have been forwarded, he said.