The only police station in Kasganj, located 300 metres from the site of the incident which left a 22-year-old shot dead, was virtually empty on the day of the incident, a report in The Indian Express has claimed.
The violence reported from Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj on Republic Day that threw normal life out of gear for several days that followed could have been averted, had there been adequate police presence in the area. The only police station in Kasganj, located 300 metres from the site of the incident which left a 22-year-old shot dead, was virtually empty on the day of the incident, a report in The Indian Express has claimed.
The clash took place on Republic Day when most of the officers from the Kotwali police station had been deployed at the police lines for the Republic Day celebrations, the report said. Adding that the city with a population of over 1.01 lakh, has only one police station, signalling a larger malaise. According to Sanjeev Gupta, IG (Aligarh), the Kasganj police has a strength of 100 personnel. However, since the incident, the police have been in the process of sending a proposal to Lucknow to urgently create at least three new police stations in the city. The city has a population of 1.01 lakh as per the 2011 census; while the police estimate the present population to be closer to 2 lakh, as reported by IE.
Gupta was quoted by The Indian Express as saying that most of the policemen in the district were deployed at the Police Lines some 10 km away, where Republic Day marches were underway. He added that the violence was sudden, without any precedent or warning and that it took the police deployed there at least 30 minutes to reach the spot. “Police officers were also injured… There have been various demands in the past to put in new police stations. But it hasn’t happened. The city is divided into six zones. We are thinking of either one police station in each zone or one police station covering two zones,” Gupta said.
In recent years, the state of Uttar Pradesh has witnessed a number of criminal cases, as per NCRB data. These include:
• 4,889 cases of murder in UP in 2016 – the highest number. This accounted 16.1% of all murders in the country that year.
• As of April 2017, UP had 1.81 lakh police personnel working against the sanctioned strength of 3.63 lakh – to take care of the state’s 21 crore population. This estimated roughly one police personnel for every 1,160 citizens.
• As per the report, with a strength of about 100 police personnel for the city’s population, of 1.01 lakh, the situation in Kasganj city is actually slightly better than in the rest of the state – one cop for every 1010 persons.