Bhubaneswar: Following allegations regarding forcible collection of ‘chanda’ on the eve of Ganesh Puja, Durga Puja, Biswakarnia Puja, Kalipuja and Saraswati Puja, Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma has directed the superintendents of police (SPs) and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) to take strict measures to curb the activities.
Sharma has asked the local inspectors in charge to conduct patrolling on National Highways and State highways and ensure that vehicles of any kind are not detained for collection of chanda and drivers are not subjected to intimidation, harassment, physical assault and abuse.
Collection of forcible chanda invites penal provisions under Section 384/386/387/392/394 or even 395 IPC depending on the gravity and number of persons involved. It is the duty of the police to protect innocent citizens from criminal intimidation from the anti-social elements/criminals, who indulge in forcible collection of chanda, Sharma said.
“The SPs and DSPs shall ensure that the IICs and SDPOs under their charge conduct frequent mobile patrolling on the highways, conduct raids at the bus stands, bus stoppages or other places where such chanda collection usually takes place and take steps to prevent illegal chanda collection. Adequate force utilization may be made while conducting the raids,” Sharma said.
“SPs and DCPs shall make use of community policing and ask the beat officers to collect information about forcible chanda collection from the residents within their respective jurisdictions,” he added.
Sharma further instructed that local police should encourage shopkeepers, traders and transporters to report instances of forcible chanda collection fearlessly. Also anti-socials collecting Chanda in the name of Puja Committees should be dealt with strictly.
“You should get in touch with the senior citizens and collect information. Collection of intelligence also from the members of the Puja Committees and the volunteers that they engage in a clandestine manner,” he said.
He further advised to take into confidence the owners of buses and trucks and their association office bearers who will provide the names of the anti-social elements and their illegal activities. Necessary liaison may be made with the office bearers so as to get real time, quick and actionable intelligence about the illegal activities related to forcible chanda collection.
“In spite of this advisory, if such crime is detected by any senior officer in a district, the concerned SPs/DCPs should recommend disciplinary action against the concerned,” Sharma added.