The Madhya Pradesh police are grappling with a severe manpower crunch with many key posts of deputy inspector general of police (DIG) lying vacant in the state, said a senior official Saturday.
The shortage is not likely to go away and would in fact intensify in the next 4 years, as the intake of regular recruits (RR) in the Indian Police Service (IPS) batches recruited between 2000 and 2004 had been very low, the official said.
The shortage has left seven police ranges headless including Balaghat, Gwalior, and Indore — considered crucial for combating left wing extremism and to prevent or pre-empt urban crime.
Before Thursday's IPS reshuffle, even the posts of DIGs of Ratlam, Khargone, Sagar and Chatarpur police ranges were lying vacant.
Of the sanctioned strength of 27, the state currently has only 17 DIG rank officers.
"There is a shortage of DIG rank officers," said a senior police officer at the state police headquarters.
"It is a temporary phase and will rectify itself once the bigger batches, recruited after 2005 onward start getting promoted to DIG rank."
Currently, there are 22 IPS officers from the 1997 to 2000 batches at the DIG rank in the state.
Of them, only 17 officers are available for service in the state while five are on deputation with the Centre.
Seven out of the 15 posts of DIGs in police ranges are vacant including the three crucial police ranges of Balaghat, Gwalior, and Indore, he said.
Three DIGs are posted as superintendent of police in Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior.
It will take years before these IPS officers, currently, serving as SPs to get promoted as DIGs, the official said.