September 25, 2018

Nitish firm on police reforms

Patna: Chief minister Nitish Kumar is understood to have expressed his worry over the rising crime graph in Bihar and voiced concern over the inability of the police brass to implement earlier decisions.

The decision to bifurcate law and order duty and crime investigation right down to the police station level has remained incomplete despite a Supreme Court order to separate the two in 2006.

According to officials present at the law and order review meeting on Thursday, director-general of police (DGP) K.S. Dwivedi asked the chief minister to give him three months to implement the decision. An impatient Nitish is said to have shot back that after three months, the DGP would be in retirement mode and directed him to enforce it within a month.

The apex court had in 2014 expressed concern over the states’ failure to implement orders on police reforms. The 2006 order stressed that clubbing the two puts strain on police personnel and investigations get hampered in the process.

Bihar has been working on separating law and order and police crime investigation and accordingly,separate vehicles have been given to the two wings in many police stations. But the actual bifurcation of police personnel is yet to take place.

Sources said the reason why the police headquarters has been hesitant on implementing its earlier order is an acute personnel crunch.

“Suppose we divide the manpower in a police station by putting 50 per cent for law and order and the rest on police investigation. In case of an emergency in an area under the police station, will the person in-charge of maintaining law and order be left with 50 per cent staff to tackle the situation?” asked a senior police officer, stressing that Bihar police were still bound by “rustic policing” and were yet to acquire the skills of policemen in police commissionerates. The government has sanctioned more posts for the police. “But it will take at least two years to recruit and train them,” said another police officer.

DGP Dwivedi’s impending retirement in January next year coupled with the “poor team” he has at the police headquarters have raised doubts whether or not Nitish’s deadline can be met.

Sources pointed out that Nitish was particular about cases related to the suspension of police officers. “Police personnel are suspended for certain irregularities. Yet, when an emergency arises, the suspension is revoked and the personnel brought back to duty even without taking the case against him to the logical conclusion,” said a senior police officer at the headquarters.

Retired cops have stressed the fear of law and order must prevail to curb crime.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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