HP Police effectively tackling COVID violators among incoming tourists: DGP

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Shimla, Jul 19 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Police has effectively tackled the challenge posed by incoming tourists amid the COVID-19 situation, state Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu said.

In a 'Meet The Press' at Press Club of Shimla here on Monday, Kundu said, 'On an average, a record number of 18,500 tourists are visiting the state daily whereas 7,500 tourists are visiting the tourist hotspot Atal Tunnel Rohtang (ATR).' The number of tourists visiting the hill state is much more nowadays as compared to normal, he added.

The HP Police is facing two types of violations coming from the tourists -- flouting COVID guidelines and indulging in violence by bringing weapons with them, Kundu said.

The entire police force is on ground as additional personnel have been deployed at the inter-state borders and tourist hotspots, including the Atal Tunnel, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Kasauli and Shimla to search vehicles randomly for checking weapons and to check any COVID violations, he added.

Stating that HP is a disaster-prone state, the DGP further said the three companies of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) sanctioned for the hill state for prompt and efficient response at the time of calamities would hopefully be set up in the next six months.

Each of the three SDRF companies will be set up at Shimla, Kangra and Mandi, he said, adding that the process for procuring the land for setting up SDRF companies is on.

Personnel are being identified for SDRF after which they will subsequently be sent to National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for training, he added.

Besides, Kundu said seven leopard skins were seized from various parts of the state in the last year.

Regarding the 'drug mafia', he said properties of 20 drug smugglers with 15 in Kullu and five in Kangra have been confiscated.

As many as 6,500 ongoing drug cases are pending in various courts, whereas trials in 8,500 such cases are yet to begin, he added.

Stating that the conviction rate of crimes in the state is almost 20 per cent that is at par with the country's average, Kundu said efforts are underway to undertake more scientific investigation instead of relying only on witnesses that in most cases tend to change their statements in court leading to poor conviction rate.

In the entire country, 80 per cent of cyber crimes are in the category of financial frauds and 20 per cent of sexual content, he said, adding that the trend in HP is in reverse.

Efforts are being made to set up cyber cells at the range levels in Mandi and Dharamshala also, apart from the existing state-level cyber cell at Shimla, the DGP added.

Earlier, Press Club president Anil Bhardwaj Haidlee, its general secretary Devendra Verma and other office-bearers Prakaram, Ujjawal and Bhawani honoured the DGP. PTI DJI HDA

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