Last year during Holi, students of Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College took to social media to share how they were allegedly hit with semen-filled balloons. Police had then stepped up security arrangements and made arrests.
To ensure no such incidents take place this year, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik has directed all 15 deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) to deploy more women police personnel in plainclothes around schools, colleges and educational institutions. The directions were issued at a recent crime review meeting at the Delhi Police headquarters in ITO.
“All DCPs have first been asked to make a list of schools, colleges and institutional areas and prepare a strategy on deploying police personnel in these places on rotation. Patnaik also said to deploy more women police personnel in plainclothes,” said a senior police officer.
They have also been asked to invoke CrPC Section 144 to dissuade motorcyclists from riding with balloons and pichkaris, and ensure no water balloons are thrown. “The DCPs have been told to issue prohibitory orders regarding selling of rubber balloons of two inches or more when not inflated, and take appropriate legal action if any shopkeepers are found selling such balloons. The police chief also said they must take suitable legal action if they receive any complaint of a balloon being thrown,” the officer added.
Last year, a man was arrested from Greater Kailash for throwing a balloon, allegedly filled with semen, at an LSR College student.
“We have beefed up security around schools, colleges, and bus stands. Police personnel, including women personnel, have been deployed to prevent hooliganism under the garb of Holi,” said DCP Madhur Verma, Delhi Police PRO.
DCP (Southeast) Chinmoy Biswal issued an order in the district, raising the issue of a “rise in anti-social activities before Holi, particularly targeting women and girls living in hostels and PGs”.
“This raises grave concerns about the safety of women and poses serious questions regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of local police to instill a sense of security among them. Last year, there were reports of anti-social elements throwing balloons and targeting women, especially students of LSR College. The matter was taken seriously by the PHQ. To prevent such incidents this year, take effective actions — start patrolling and increase police visibility in schools, colleges and educational institutions,” he wrote.
Patnaik also expressed concern over a snatching incident in Janakpuri — in which a woman was robbed of her purse by two men and dragged behind their motorcycle on Women’s Day.