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Cops make beeline to remove tattoos

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Bhubaneswar, April 11: Tattoo parlours in the state capital saw a surge in activity on Thursday as policemen sought to remove tattoos from their bodies.
The rush was prompted by an official order requiring police personnel engaged in the Special Security Battalion (SSB) to eliminate visible tattoos to maintain the image of the Odisha police at national and international levels.
They were given a timeframe of 15 to 20 days to completely remove tattoos that were visible beyond their uniforms.
According to Subham Kumar Padhi, owner of WWE Tattoo Studio in Bhubaneswar, removing a permanent tattoo is a challenging and time-consuming process compared to getting one.
“The cost of removal is four times higher than the cost of getting a tattoo, with laser treatment requiring four sessions at intervals of 15 to 20 days,” he added.
Padhi mentioned that several police personnel visited his studio to begin the removal process.
He said, “The removal cost is Rs 2,000 per square-inch while we charge around Rs 350 to Rs 500 per square-inch for putting up a tattoo.” The Special Security Battalion, consisting of over 1,000 personnel, is responsible for providing security to important installations such as the chief minister’s residence, Raj Bhavan, state secretariat, NISER, Odisha Assembly, and the high court.
DCP (Security) Sudhakar Mishra explained that the directive to remove visible tattoos was issued to uphold the reputation of the Odisha police. He emphasised that tattoos deemed offensive or derogatory could tarnish the image of the police force.
“A number of personnel has tattoos on their bodies which demeans the image of the battalion as well as Odisha Police,” he said.
Mishra stressed the importance of presenting a professional image, particularly since SSB personnel provide security to important dignitaries and institutions visited by national and international personalities.
He expressed concern that tattoos on police personnel could create a negative impression on observers, prompting the issuance of the directive.
“If dignitaries see our police personnel with tattoos in hands and neck, it will have a bad impression on Odisha Police. So, we have issued the order so that in future, no police officials will get tattoos done,” Mishra said.
Several SSB officials, speaking anonymously, expressed their support for the order, acknowledging the need to maintain discipline within the force.
While some have tattoos that will need to be removed, others are relieved that their tattoos are not visible in uniform. Despite personal preferences, they welcomed the order as a measure to uphold disciplinary standards.
In addition to safeguarding vital installations, SSB personnel are responsible for the security of VVIPs and dignitaries within the state and visiting from other parts of India. (PTI)

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