Growing crime: Radio, Facebook to Chandigarh police’s rescue

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS
Friday, February 4, 2011

CHANDIGARH - Police are grappling with a rising number of crimes and road accidents in Chandigarh, but radio channels and social networking site Facebook are coming to their rescue.

Chandigarh Police recently tied up with two private radio channels: Reliance-owned Big 92.7 FM and Bhaskar group-owned 94.3 MY FM. The idea is police will be able to make announcements and seek public help to keep a tab on anti-social elements through these channels.

“Senior officials of the police control room will remain in constant touch with these channels. They will immediately flash the news about hit- and-run cases, snatchings and vehicle thefts on radio,” Chandigarh Deputy Superintendent of Police (Communications) Roshan Lal told IANS.

“They can also do it in between the programmes, depending upon the importance of the cases,” he added.

“It is only the beginning. Gradually, we will also rope in local TV channels in this initiative. It will alert city dwellers and enhance the chances of nabbing criminals at the earliest,” Lal said.

“Depending on the response, police will also start circulating updates about traffic diversions, traffic congestion and road repairs through radio,” he added.

Chandigarh Police are making a profile on social networking site Facebook to remain in touch with denizens and exchange views on sensitive issues.

“Our focus is to bridge the communication gap between city dwellers and the police. People can post their problems and give suggestions to the police on Facebook,” Lal said.

“We will appoint special officials who will promptly attend to the problems and reply to the queries on Facebook,” he added.

Chandigarh Police have been in the news for the wrong reasons. They are facing the wrath of the public over their failure to solve a number of cases of kidnapping, murder, rape and robberies.

Last month, Burail village residents came out on city roads to express their anguish over the police’s negligent attitude in handling the kidnapping and death of five-year-old boy Kushpreet.

He was kidnapped from the village Dec 21 and his body was recovered from neighbouring Mohali town Jan 5. There was widespread violence in the village as residents resorted to street protests against police.

Chandigarh, spread over 114 sq km, is internationally known for its architecture and urban planning. It is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and many senior politicians, bureaucrats and VIPs from both states live here.

Its close proximity with Punjab and Haryana pose difficult security challenges before its police.

Chandigarh was designed by Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier in the 1950s for a population of 500,000, but now the city accommodates over 1.1 million people and a floating population of over 100,000 a day.

Its residents have welcomed these people-friendly steps of the police.

“Airing important things related to the city’s security on radio will certainly help the police. It will also act as deterrent for the miscreants. Now people can contact the police any time through Facebook,” said Shardha Rana, a retired lecturer.

(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at

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