Police on alert to douse anti-toll fire

October 17, 2013

Vivek Waghmode, TNN |

KOLHAPUR: The city has come under a thick security blanket with police making elaborate arrangements to avoid any untoward incident during Thursday’s protests by the Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee in protest against the government’s decision to go ahead with collection of toll on the inter-city roads.

Around 700 policemen with 150 sub-inspectors and inspectors, three officers in the rank of the deputy superintendent and a one company of State Reserve Police Force have been deployed at the vulnerable points, including nine toll plazas, in the city.

Superintendent of police Vijaysingh Jadhav on Wednesday said, “According to the high court’s order, we will provide protection to the IRB Company for toll collection. There are nine toll plazas in the city and the police will be deployed at all the booths from Thursday. Our duty is to maintain law and order and we are well prepared. We will arrest anybody trying to violate law and order situation or create any kind of disturbance that may affect law and order situation in city. Those arrested will be kept at Yerawada jail because the two jails in the district Kalamba jail and a sub-jail at Bindu chowk are full to their capacity.”

He had called a meeting of all police officers and asked them to take strict actions against those trying to trespass or loiter around toll plazas in groups. The district administration has already issued prohibitory orders and Jadhav has asked the police to take action against anybody violating the directives.

The Bombay high court had directed the state government and the district administration to provide police protection to M/s IRB Kolhapur Integrated Road Development Company to start toll collection in the city.

The IRB had filed a writ petition (6646/2013) in the high court to seek an appropriate writ, direction and order and direct the state government and the police department to provide adequate protection for toll collection. The court asked the state government and the police department to ensure protection at each toll plaza and all other establishments under the Kolhapur Integrated Road Development Project.

A high court bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice S C Gupte passed the order on September 26 and has scheduled the next hearing on October 21.

The police, in a letter dated May 23, 2013, had expressed their inability to provide immediate police protection, because a large police force would be required for the purpose.





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