I plan on getting the source rather than targeting the consumers of narcotics: Chief Inspector of Manipal Police3 min read
Manipal: It is very unusual to see a zen-like figure behind the desk of the Chief Inspector of Police and not an officer yelling orders at deputies. Sitting across SA Thipannavar, his almost meditative demeanour comes as a surprise. Last month, he replaced HD Kulkarni as the Chief Inspector of Manipal Police and has already seen the many faces of the University town, beginning from unprecedented student protests to suicide.
Hailing from Hubli, this amateur nature photographer practised law for a year after graduating with a BA.LLB from Sakri Law College, Hubli. The love for the khakhi uniform from his NCC days steered him to join the police services and has spent the last three years working in the Naxal-affected region of Sringeri, where he was previously posted.
In an exclusive interview, TMJ spoke to the new Chief Inspector, SA Thipannavar, about his plans for Manipal’s security. Excerpts:
Your predecessors used to conduct periodic raids in hostels and even some apartments in Manipal to check for narcotics. And they apprehended around eight individuals in the last year. However, the problem persists. Do you plan on doing things differently?
Every person has different standards and methods of working. It is not compulsory to work in the same manner. I plan on getting the information about the source rather than targeting the consumers of the narcotics, and in this way get to the root of the problem. I feel that everyone has a private life, so unless I get credible information I will not raid periodically.
With 273 criminal cases registered last year, as opposed to 243 registered in 2010, there is a definite increase in the crime rate. How do you plan to keep the crime rate low?
Firstly, when I saw the past records, most of the cases that were booked were in fact accidents, laptop thievery and precautionary cases where the case was filed to prevent any real or actual harm to the innocent. My first plan of action is to tie-up all loose ends. There are around 40-50 cases pending which I plan on solving as soon as possible.
Though you say that most of these cases were precautionary cases, there are a lot of crimes that go unreported because student-victims do not feel comfortable filing complaints at the police station. What would you say to encourage them to register complaints? Maybe an outreach programme would help…
Frankly speaking, I have not really thought about that. I do hope that more students will be willing to complain if some injustice has been done to them. But as of right now, I have not thought of an outreach programme or installing a hotline.
Since you mentioned accidents, do you feel that as the number of vehicles in Manipal is increasing, changes should be made to the traffic rules implemented here?
Before creating a new set of rules and regulations or enforcing a new set of rules I would like to focus on those breaking the traffic rules already in place. This I feel is more important as of now.
With recent examples of students facing harassment, particularly in the case of Apu, the auto driver who threatened students with a sickle at Kamath Circle, Manipal is becoming increasingly unsafe…
Apu was charged for attempted murder and was sent to jail after which he appeared in court, which is where he was granted bail under strict criteria and a warning. Now he is attending his mandatory court sessions. Also, I contacted him and told him that if he behaves in such a manner again, he will not be so lucky. I even spoke to the Auto Drivers’ Union and told them not to misbehave with the students, especially the girls.
Sub-edited by: Garima Goel