Puja panel heads to be SPOs during Dusshera in Cuttack

Cuttack: Like previous years, the local puja committee heads and their executives would be appointed as special police officers (SPOs) for the ensuing five-day Durga puja and the immersion festival.
The SPOs would be responsible to maintain law and order and traffic in their respective areas in close coordination with the police.
This was announced by the city police commissioner R K Sharma here today after taking stock of the security arrangements for the biggest annual extravaganza of the city beginning next week.
"This has been the practice in the city since late 1970s, ever since the local puja committee concept was introduced here by the then district magistrate," said a retired police officer.
This practice has, however, given rise to the concept of appointing Special Police Officers (SPOs) now in which along with the local head, at least five to 10 other volunteers in each puja committee are given special police powers to maintain law and order in their respective areas during the pujas.
The Commissionerate police this time too has given its green signal to appoint SPOs, informed the city police commissioner R K Sharma here today while taking a review meeting of the security arrangements for the ensuing Durga Puja beginning next week.
"As part of our special drive to ensure smooth and peaceful puja, we have already undertaken a drive to execute all pending NBWs and arrested many persons having criminal antecedents," Sharma told newsmen here adding that the same drive would continue till the end of puja season. The commissioner also added that the police have also launched a drive against the tipplers and rash drivers in the city.