With an aim to provide them a steady source of income, the state government plans to recruit police informers as home guards, a volunteer body that assists the police force in maintaining law and order.
Director general of police Sanjeev Dayal had, in a letter sent to the home department on March 13, proposed the idea of permanent state jobs for informers.
However, the department modified his proposal and suggested that they be accommodated as home guards.
The proposal is in its final stage, said a senior home department official, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Currently, the police department is facing several issues such as inadequate funds for compensating the informant.
According to the information tabled in the Budget session of the legislature, the home department has spent Rs. 25 lakh on paying informers last year, an amount senior officers termed as paltry.
The informers have also come under threat from the criminals they observe on behalf of the police department. Many such informers have been murdered in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra.
The issue of strengthening the network of informers was also discussed at a police conference attended by the chief minister and home minister last week.
“Informants are crucial in detection of criminal cases, and every officer has his own network. Protecting these people financially and physically is paramount,” said a senior police officer.
“The informants could continue with their covert operations even while they work as home guards.”
Around 80% of the 42,000 home guards are posted at railways stations across the state and for special patrolling during festive seasons at a daily remuneration of Rs. 200.