Mangaluru: A Peace Committee meeting was held at the Deputy Commissioner’s conference hall, State Bank here, on November 25.
ADC Kumar welcomed the delegates. Addressing the members of the peace committee, DC Ibrahim said that in the recent past, there have been several incidents of communal violence in the district. He noted that such incidents made a huge impact on the future of the youth as they may find it difficult to clear police verification when applying for documents like passport or acquiring any decent employment. He asked the peace committee to come up with suggestions so that there was a permanent solution. Police officers, leaders of various political parties, religious leaders, members of NGOs, leaders of All College Students’ Union and members of ZP were invited.
K Vishwanath said, “Parents should monitor the activities of their children. First time offenders shouldn’t be sent to jail, but instead be given proper counseling. Permission should be given to protests only if organisers can ensure that no destruction of property and life takes place.”
Balakrishna suggested that the menace of drugs and ganja should be taken care of. “Places should be monitored for gambling too and such practices should be strictly curbed,” he added.
Hamza from Ullal Darga said, “Adequate police force should be deployed immediately in case of any incident of communal unrest.”
Pradeep Kumar suggested, “We should spread good news on social media just like rumours are spread.”
AK Mohideen said that CCTV cameras should be placed in places known for communal unrest.
William D’souza said that young offenders shouldn’t be jailed. Instead they should be counseled and given hours of community service. That way we can also ensure that they do some good for the society.
Saif from Hope foundation, an NGO, said, “Youth should not loiter in groups after sunset and should avoid discussing communal matters. Parents and teachers should ensure this practice. Competitions themed on communal harmony should be conducted at school levels so that students are sensitive towards people of other religions.”
Other suggestions included, rumours on social media should be monitored and appropriate action should be taken against those spreading them. Peace meets should be held often and progress should be monitored. The DC and the SP should give a bold statements in case of any communal unrest in the city, as statements will help keep the faith of the people in the authority.
Asha Thimmappa Gowda, the president of ZP, said, “All meetings at the Gram Panchayat level must be attended by the youth and they should actively participate in them.”
SP Dr Sharanappa thanked the committee members for their suggestions and said, “Children and youth are the future of our nation. For Mangaluru to be a smart city, their talents should be harnessed. Outsiders cannot point the youth and children in the right direction. This is the role of their families”.
Speaking on the suggestion of installing CCTV cameras, he said that a tender of Rs 70 lakh has already been floated for implementation of CCTV cameras in sensitive areas. He also requested the religious leaders to install CCTV cameras in the areas of worship so that any untoward incident will be recorded and justice is delivered swiftly. Citizens must contact the number 0824-2220800 to report any such incident.
Talking about the issue of drug menace, he said, “The issue of drug menace has been taken up and many workshops for school managements have been conducted in this matter.”
Ending the peace meet, DC Ibrahim thanked the peace committee members for their valuable suggestions and said that the people should not be silent against anti-social elements even if they belong to the same community. “The silence of good people promotes such communal incidents. Before posting any banner, permission from the authorities has to be sought. All illegal banners and posters will be removed and action will be taken against those violating the guidelines. Hatred spread on social media will be monitored. A separate place will be allotted to hold peaceful protests. We will follow the Supreme Court directives on bandhs and make the organisation pay for any loss occurred during the bandh called by it.”
ASP Vincent Shantharaj, ZP CEO Sreevidya, ADC Kumar, Siraj Ahmed and other community leaders were also present.