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Monday, August 23, 2010

Edition 28: Mahadev Chavan



Working in a area full of city hustle bustle has it perils. For a policeman, that is more true. Area coming under the Chatushrungi police station is one of the main centres of business as well as eduaction. The University of Pune, with its long history and vast compass, is just stone’s throw away from the police station.

Immediately in front of the station is Raj Bhavan, which houses Governor of Maharashtra whenever he is in city. Senior Police Inspector Mahadev Chavan heads the police station for last two years. The approximate population under the jurisdiction of the police station is 6,00,000. The areas under the station mainly comprise of coprorate offices, educational institutes etc. Some slums also fall in the area. The police station controlls five police chowkys in Pandavnagar, Janawadi, Poona Gate, Pashan and Aundh.

About a week ago, the Chatushrungi police hit headlines when they arrested one person and seized 32 barrels carrying 9,800 kgs of hydrogen peroxide, an explosive material, that was being transported in a truck without any precautionary measures. One A Jayraman (35) of Shivgangai in Tamilnadu was arrested. The seized chemical, which the police say is explosive was kept in the truck parked near the Chaturshringi police station, which is located on the premises of University of Pune.

According to Chavan, the sample of the chemical is sent for analysis. “We are waiting for the chemical analysis report to come. Hydrogen peroxide is an explosive material. Its intensity depends on the percentage of hydrogen in the chemical mixture. Further decision would be taken only after the chemical analysis report becomes available.”

The main problems in this area is theft and burglary in housing societies. Sinch Pashan, Aundh and Baner comprise one of the posh societies in city, many burgalaries take place there. According to Chavan, night patrolling in the area has begun.But we cannot be everywhere all the time, so citizens too need to be alert. Each bungalow should have a watchman, at least when the residents are away, Chavan said. He pointed out that citizens must also install CCTV cameras so that burglars can be nabbed after the incidents. Three police vans patrol the areas of Panchavati,Aundh, Pashan, Athashree Society and Balewadi frequently throughout the day, distributing pamphlets and urging residents to take precautions to avoid thefts. With 11 cases of dacoity reported in last two months in these areas, the police have stepped up the security.

“Besides patrolling, we have two constables assigned at key locations 24X7. In addition, we have also appointed 10 securityguards from a private security agency. They will randomly check vehicles and keep a watch on strangers in these areas,” informed Chavan, senior inspector with Chatushringi police. Vrindavan Society in Pashan, where the biggest robbery took place about a month ago — robbers stole cash and gold worth Rs 17 lakh from a bungalow—had only two security guards, for day and night duties, till

June 26. Urging the citizens to be cautious, the police department has distributed

about 3,000 pamphlets in various societies here. A video for creating awareness has also been aired on the local cable channel,” said Chavan.

The police have been advising the residents to cross check the identity and whereabouts of the watchmen on duty. “This area has been marked as robbery-prone zone since the last 10 years. And May-June is the time when most of the families leave for vacations. It has been observed that most robberies have followed this trend. The dacoits kept a watch on the homes before robbing them. Some incidents of chain snatching have also been reported. We have been making announcements asking people to appoint security guards

from reliable agencies, not to keep valuables at home and to wear imitation jewelry. Every since we took up these measures, there has been a significant drop in the number of robberies in the past seven days,” said Chavan.

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