Cops rope in locals for coastal security, bond over dance and music
VASHI: Navi Mumbai police acknowledged the efforts of those who helped keep the city safe, with a cultural awareness programme on coastal security on Friday.
The special branch of Navi Mumbai police paid back to the Sagar Rakshak Dal, Gram Rakshak Dal, police mitr and fisherfolk of the city for their help to the police.
The programme, held at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium, Vashi, also had lectures and information by the police on coastal security, apart from the cultural programmes.
“Following the 26/ 11 terror attack, there is a need to be alert at all times. The police, however, cannot be present everywhere. Hence the need for local support becomes significant,” said police commissioner Prabhat Ranjan.
“Through programmes like these, there is better interaction between the police and the locals. They also help boost the confidence of locals. This is essential for coastal security,” said Ranjan.
“There is a need for residents of the coastal areas to be alert at all times. They are the first ones to notice anything different or suspicious in the area as they know the seas like the back of their hand,” he said.
He said contact numbers were provided to these residents, so they can contact the police immediately if there is any suspicious activity.
“We are prepared now. Though no one can guarantee a 100% prevention of an attack, if it does take place, the damage will not be as serious as the last time. We have systems in place to counter any such attack,” said Ranjan.
Deputy commissioner of police (special branch) Suresh Mengde too attended the function and encouraged the local residents to help keep the coast safe.
“Coastal security is the key to defending a city like ours which has a large coastal area,” he said.
He said, “Following the 26/11 attack, an informal layer of surveillance has been added. Fishermen and villagers are organised into groups such as Sagar Suraksha Dal and Gram Rakshak Dal and trained to keep a vigil at sea and the coasts.”
“The police mitr (friends) and the fishing community are our eyes and ears. The programme gave them a lot of encouragement and assured them of our support,” said Mengde.
(Clockwise) Artistes perform Koli Geet, a folk art form of fishermen, at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium in Vashi’s Sector 16 on Friday.
Police commissioner Prabhat Ranjan distributes T-shirts to locals and fishermen.