Acting on orders from city Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria, Mumbai Police personnel are mingling in plain clothes with the crowds during political rallies and public meetings, keeping an eye out for any criminal elements who might try to take advantage of the huge crowds to commit crimes. Police officers said the move was aimed at curbing crimes such as molestation and theft.
Police said political rallies always attract a huge crowd, which gives opportunities to criminal elements, and hence extra vigilance is required on such occasions. Over the past month, various political candidates have been holding rallies and public meetings all over the city, and the police have a close watch on these events in order to make sure no criminal elements are able to exploit the opportunity.
“Apart from the bandobast that is imposed in the event of any rally or political meeting, we also have plainclothes personnel who mingle with the crowd during such events. They keep an eye out for any offenders who might try to molest women or steal valuables from the people under the cover of the large crowds,” said Maria.
The plainclothes cops, both men and women, are tasked with posing as part of the rallies and have orders to keep an eye out for any potential law and order problems, as well as to immediately crack down on any criminal element who is seen trying to molest women or steal valuables from the attendees, said officers. Police officers said the personnel deployed for bandobast have also been given video cameras to record the rallies, which provides a further boost to the police’s work. “Every rally, every speech is recorded on our cameras. This also helps us ensure that there are no violations of the model code of conduct,” Maria said.
Police spokesperson DCP Mahesh Patil (Enforcement) added, “In case any crimes occur during these rallies, we can use the footage to try and identify suspects and the footage would also become a part of the evidence in our case. Hence, we take care to comprehensively record political rallies and public meetings held by politicians.”