Kolkata Police's effective crowd management makes X-Mas night worth remembering
Kolkata: It was a starry starry night for the Christmas revellers visiting Park Street on Monday. Impeccable arrangements of the Kolkata Police made it a night to remember for those who braved the massive number of people thronging the area on Christmas night.
Drunken brawls and eve-teasing on Park Street on Christmas night have been quite common until recently. It may be recalled that the incident of Bapi Sen, a traffic sergeant of the city police, who was killed by two eve-teasers happened on December 31 night, 2002.
After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took the initiative to decorate Park Street with lights with herself attending the Christmas celebrations at Allen Park.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) was assigned to light up Park Street and the entire area took the shape of a street carnival mainly after sundown.
It may be mentioned that during the British period and till the late 1960s, people from all over the country used to come to the city to celebrate Christmas and see the decorations at Park Street. However, Park Street lost its glory when the Left Front came to power in 1977 and the street decorations became a matter of the past.
The city police made foolproof arrangements this year to ensure a trouble-free Christmas at Park Street and the city police deserve huge appreciation for the same.
Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar held a series of meetings with senior officers to chalk out the blueprint. It may be recalled that those who had visited Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan to see Under-17 World Cup football matches that were held in October had praised the city police for top-class spectator management.
The movement of all vehicular traffic along Park Street, Little Russell Street, Free School Street and Middleton Row were immensely managed.
The revellers were allowed to walk on both the pavements while barricades were put up at the centre of the stretch. There was police posting in the middle so that cops could keep a tab on the crowd on both sides. There were policemen both in uniform and plainclothes on the flanks. They did not carry batons to control the crowd but instead spoke to the people whenever any assistance and guidance was sought.
Lakhs of people visited Park Street from the evening till early Tuesday morning but because of excellent crowd control, there was not a single case of eve-teasing or drunken brawl. Normal traffic movement was restored along Park Street and the adjoining roads from Tuesday morning.