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A citizens’ security initiative

A citizens’ security initiative
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First Published: Sun, Jan 18 2009. 10 36 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Jan 18 2009. 10 36 PM IST
New Delhi: The frequency and impact of terror attacks has been growing. But each new strike seems to take the authorities by surprise. Not willing to simply blame the government any more, a citizens’ group has now decided to do its bit to prevent such attacks. It has set up Jagruk Nagrik Suraksha Sangathan or JNSS in Delhi. The aim is to help citizens become their own guards.
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JNSS President Denson Joseph says a citizen has to “take up the responsibility of becoming alert, forming a network, and falling in line, to secure himself and the people around him. If we do that, we would not have the security forces to blame.”
As the first part of its action plan, JNSS has identified areas that are most vulnerable to terror strikes. These are busy and crowded markets. Two separate teams are being formed, one to keep a watch and the other to act in case of an emergency - the Citizens’ Intelligence Network to keep a vigil Citizens’ Active Response team.
All the shopkeepers have been asked to volunteer just one worker to join the Citizens’ Active Response team. They would be expected to take note of any suspicious activities and people moving around the market.
Sarojini Nagar is one of the first where the plan is being implemented. It’s a highly popular shopping destination for young people and has been hit twice by militants. The market association here has responded enthusiastically to the idea of citizens coming together to fight terror. A similar approach has been adopted by the Mehrauli market, which was the site of a blast few months ago.
Markets that are likely to join the initiative in the next stage include Tilak Vihar, Lajpat Nagar and Yusuf Sarai.
The idea behind this citizens’ initiative is simple, be alert, be secure. But how far it succeeds in spreading the idea and convincing citizens’ organizations to implement it pro-actively, remains to be seen.
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First Published: Sun, Jan 18 2009. 10 36 PM IST