RR tightens grip on police | india | Hindustan Times
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RR tightens grip on police

Home Minister R R Patil doesn’t want to take any risks this time. Patil, who quit in the wake of last November’s terror attacks in Mumbai, is now tightening the grip over the police department that has caused him enough embarrassment time and again.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2009 00:47 IST
Dharmendra Jore

Home Minister R R Patil doesn’t want to take any risks this time.

Patil, who quit in the wake of last November’s terror attacks in Mumbai, is now tightening the grip over the police department that has caused him enough embarrassment time and again.

“I have learnt a lot from past experiences. I asked for the home department again because I want to make my force number one in the country,” he said.

While it was inept handling of the terror attacks by an inexperienced police force that exposed Patil to the hilt last year, now it is the infighting among the top brass that is drawing unnecessary attention.

Patil wants police officers to stop cold wars and concentrate on their performance. More importantly, he has barred them from talking to media. According to the new rules, concerned heads of the police force in a city or a district will appoint a spokesperson who will be authorised to talk to the media. No other officer will be allowed to speak to journalists.

A year after the terror attacks, ex-Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor — once Patil’s blue-eyed boy — has forced the minister to take unprecedented measures to rein in discipline.

Patil was known to have defended the force in all circumstances, even in adverse situations. But on Monday, Patil rejected Gafoor’s explanation on his comments in an interview. Gafoor had alleged that some of his junior colleagues did not respond to the order on November 26, 2008.

Patil decided to initiate strict action against the director general rank officer. “I wonder how a senior officer talks informally with media on a serious issue and then says it was just a informal statement,” Patil said in the assembly.

However, Patil defended Rakesh Maria, city’s joint commissioner (crime), who was accused of not responding positively to additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte’s demand for additional force to engage the terrorists.

A serving officer requesting anonymity told HT: “Patil needs to make appropriate appointments. There are many deserving officers in the state force.”