Kolkata, March 15 (IANS) Warning people against causing damage to public property, senior police officers of West Bengal on Wednesday said any instance of spreading misinformation or ransacking would be dealt with sternly and the offenders prosecuted under the new stringent “Prevention of Damage to Public Property Amendment Act, 2017”.

The new law was passed by the Mamata Banerjee government.

“Sometimes when some unsavoury incidents occur, a few groups try to ransack places by taking advantage of the people’s emotions. We will handle these cases very seriously. Any instance of spreading misinformation or rumour would also be strictly handled by the police,” state police Director General Surajit Kar Purkayastha told reporters.

Purkayastha, along with other senior police officers, was addressed to the press after a high-level administrative meeting regarding the security infrastructure of the state hospitals.

“People involved in destroying public property would be dealt with very seriously. We are in the process of identifying the people involved in the incident at the medical college yesterday (Tuesday).

“We will ensure that those people are prosecuted under the new law,” city Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said referring to the incident of ransacking at the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital after a newborn was stolen from the maternity ward.

Thanking the media for spreading the news of child theft, Kumar claimed people should give adequate time to the police to investigate and resolve such issues before resorting to violence.

“If an incident happens, police will take time to investigate. Yesterday we were lucky that we could deal with the situation quite fast and the accused woman was caught with your help. But it does not mean that if someone has any grievances, that has to be taken out on somebody else,” he added.

DG Purkayastha stated that under the Chief Minister’s instruction, a three-member committee would be formed to improve the security infrastructure at the hospitals.

“Under the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a three-member committee would be formed comprising the Health Secretary, city Police Commissioner and me, which would look to improving security at hospitals,” he said.

He also said that several steps, like installing more security cameras on the hospital premises and increasing police surveillance at the state hospitals, would be taken up by the administration to beef up security at the hospitals to prevent incidents like child theft.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.