Published: 26th July 2019
Chennai Cops get bus 'Route Thalas' from cutty colleges to take oath that they will not be up to no good
Chennai Police, colleges to work together, keep tabs on students and coordinate with parents so that they do not indulge in undesirable activities
The ‘route thala’ (route leader) culture in city colleges, which has been identified as the chief cause of gang rivalries among students might come to an end with the help of the Chennai Police, as they have discovered an unique method to deal with it. Around 25 ‘route thalas’ (heads for each bus route) from various colleges in the city solemnly undertook an oath on Friday stating they will not indulge in violence or any undesirable activities.
The oath was administered by the Chennai Police, in the presence of the Joint Commissioner of Police (East) R Sudhakar. "We promise not to engage in any undesirable activities. We promise to make our parents proud. If we break these promises, we will surrender ourselves to legal action," it read, according to the News Minute.
A ‘route thala’ is the leader of the students commuting in a particular bus or train route. The title, which is given to students by themselves, apparently grants special privileges to the leader. This step comes after clashes erupted recently between two groups of students from Pachaiyappas College in which two students were also injured. In the past also, similar clashes have erupted between the students of Pachaiyappas College, Presidency College and New College in Chennai.
The Chennai Police have said that often the students involved in such clashes sport dangerous weapons such as billhooks, machetes and knives and are also known for harassing passengers on the bus. Friday’s unique oath-taking ceremony came after R Sudhakar, the Joint Commissioner of Police, identified about 90 such ‘route thalas’ and held a meeting with the principals of the three colleges in the city.
According to the several news reports, on Friday during meeting, it was decided by the authorities that the students who indulge in violence in the name of 'route thalas' will be taken strict action against and will have to compulsorily undergo community service. The officials and principals of the colleges have also decided to have a regular coordination meeting with parents and students. The police have advised colleges to monitor late-comers and inform the students' parents on a daily basis.