Work at Masuri police station is moving at a cautionary and slow pace. Fearing a fresh round of rumours,personnel at the station are not conducting investigations into any cases filed,even if they are not related to the recent riots.
Officers confirmed that while complaints are being written down,policemen are not sent to question the accused even in cases of petty theft so as not to scare the local residents.
Police said the priority,at the moment,is to restore confidence of the public and stop the continuous exodus from the area.
Since Friday,close to 45 complaints have been registered with us. These are of theft and loot. Some of them relate to instances on Friday night,when families left their homes and returned to find things missing. While complaints are being noted down,the instructions to policemen are to stay away from the residences of people to restore confidence, an officer said.
Police said there was a major chance that local residents would misconstrue arrest or detention in an unrelated case for one connected to the riots.
The life in the area is slowly coming back to normal. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has also been relaxed,and will gradually be lifted. When our concentration is on returning normalcy,a detention in a theft case,for instance,will do more harm than good. Local people will think that the action is being taken for the riots and people could start leaving again, an officer said.
In a peace meeting with elders of the community,issues of fear were discussed.
Jagdish Sharma,Superintendent of Police (Rural),told the group: The fact that the FIR is against 5,000 people is not something to worry about. The report is unnamed,and no arrests have been made thus far. If some action is to be taken,the local people will be taken into confidence.
It was decided at the meeting that an Aman Samiti of the local residents would be formed,and police would keep it in the loop on developments in the case.
The Masuri police station,which has 30 villages and 4 chowkis under it,is also suffering due to the loss of documents that were burnt in the attack on the station.
These documents are previous complaints. The main record room was safe,as the 30 people who were present in the station during the attack took shelter there. A room belonging to the chief inspector of the thana was completely burnt. There were a few documents in the room. We will have to reconstruct the complaints once things become normal. A room with surveillance equipment was also completely damaged, an officer said.