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On suicide watch, cops head for hills: Hindustan Times

Last Updated: Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 10:09

Mumbai: With more then 50 cases of suicides reported in and around the city since this month began, the Maharashtra police have upgraded security at more then 21 locations on popular hill stations around the city.

“The increasing number of suicides is a cause of concern, so we’ve identified these points and posted policemen there, apart from stepping up patrolling,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (Pune rural), Pratap Dighavkar.

The spots where vigilance has been increased include Sinhagad, Bhimashankar, Rajmachi, Sidhgadh, Malshej ghat, Tung, Nanhe ghat, Tikona, Harishchandragad, Korigad, Gorakgad, apart from several other spots in the Khandala-Lonavla belt and Matheran hill station.

Officials said these spots were identified based on the height of the location, accessibility, popularity with visitors, and past instances of suicides at these spots.

Also, preparing for possible suicides in rooms at lodges and resorts, the police have issued notices to them to verify the identity of each guest, especially unmarried ones.

“We don’t want to prevent anyone from staying at these places, but the accommodation provider must check if the guest is bona fide,” said another senior police officer requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Sources said at least five suicides have been reported from the valleys in Matheran in the last two years — notable among them a double suicide by a 42-year-old woman and her nine-year-old daughter, who jumped off a cliff in Matheran in 2008.

Firoz Sheikh, who owns a lodge at Matheran, said: “It’s very strict now. There’s an unwritten rule among lodge and resort owners to not let rooms out to single travelers, who are considered high suicide risks.”

First Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 10:09
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