Crime-riddled Madhya Pradesh is grappling with a severe shortage of police personnel leading to severe pressure on the overburdened men in khakis.
On September 1, a deputy superintendent of police posted in Sagar district committed suicide by hanging himself. Though the reasons are still not clear, many in the force believe that work pressure may have pushed him to this extreme step.
The latest report (for 2013) of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that for every one lakh population in state, there are only 112 police personnel, half of the United Nations recommended police-public ratio of 222.
This means that the police in the state are forced to handle twice as much population in maintaining law and order or investigating crime.
The report was released in July, 2014.
The NCRB’s figures also show that against sanctioned posts of 76,518 there are only 62,281 civil police personnel in state — a shortfall of 18.6%.
The number of armed forces personnel — like the special armed forces — is 21,737 taking the total number of the personnel to 84,018.
The 2013 population in MP was 7.48 crore.
The national ratio stands at 140 police personnel per one lakh population.
Similarly, of 62,281 civil police, only 12,384 fall in the rank over assistant sub-inspector and up to senior superintendent of police -- the cadre that actively handles crime investigations.
Out of the available police personnel, around 600 are deployed for routine daily VIP duty across the state. The number goes up during VIP visits or big events.
In 2013, the number of pending investigations in the state was a whopping 3,31,111, which meant that each policeman had to handle an average of 27 crime cases.
An additional superintendent of police posted in Bhopal, who did not want to be named, admitted that "sometimes the pressures become too much to handle".
"The pressure compounds due to VIP duties and mass events. But, in all situations we try to do our best," the police officer added.
Sachin Jain of NGO Vikas Samvad, who analysed the data, said that it is clear that police are overburdened in MP.
"While it is important that enough police personnel are recruited, it is also important that the structure of the force is changed both physically and psychologically so the police could emerge as true support system of the society," Jain said.
Home minister Babulal Gaur said that the government was aware of the requirements and efforts are on to fill up more and more posts.
"We would be recruiting 5,000 more police personnel during this year," the minister told HT.
(Police personnel per lakh population)
All India – 140
Madhya Pradesh - 112
Bihar - 77
Uttar Pradesh - 78
Rajasthan - 115
Odisha - 124
Manipur – 1,026
Burden of cases
(Number of crime investigation per police personnel)
India - 38.2
Madhya Pradesh - 26.7
Uttar Pradesh - 203