Chennai: The city police have stepped up security at Marina following the murder of a sex worker recently.
Also, in view of Gaja cyclone Thursday night, the beach was closed for visitors and police personnel were maintaining strict vigil.
According to sources, the department has taken note of several issues taking place on Chennai’s prominent beach due to lapse in security.
Right from Thursday evening, a large contingent of policemen was deployed on the entry and exit points of the shore following weather alerts of cyclone landfall.
As a precautionary measure, police asked people not to come to the beach area. A source said anti-social elements use such situation, gain entry into the beach and threaten couples sitting in secluded spots.
“Police rounds have increased in the area. From Light House to Kannagi Statue, 30 cops are deployed. We have made a tight security ring. Policemen are regularly patrolling the sand area and near the waters on special vehicles.
When asked about anti-social elements targetting couples, the source said, “These complaints do not reach us formally. But we know such incidents are taking place.”
Explaining how it happens, the source said, “After 8 pm, local criminals and some transpersons come to the beach to extort money from couples. Especially the ones sitting in low light areas and those close to the water are the targets.”
So how much money do they forcibly take? “Whatever the couple have with them. The victims out of fear do not lodge a police complaint. Few years ago a problem broke out between the police and the public. Many visitors felt that police were intruding into their enjoyment time and personal space. Following that, the police stepped back from the sand area. Now, with law and order slightly getting out of control, we have tightened security.”
The ‘Street brothels’, police say is another nuisance they are trying to control. It is done by the outsiders. Locals here have no role to play in it. They come during the night with ‘their clients’.
Increased cases of drowning of students is also a reason police escalated vigilance. “Despite a board warning visitors about venturing into the waters, two cases of drowning take place every week.”