Though the sanctioned strength of police personnel across various cadres in Maharashtra has gone up by 65,686 over the last decade, 26,985 posts out of 2,07,768 were lying vacant as on June 15, 2011.
The state government has furnished this information in an affidavit filed before the Bombay high court on Tuesday. The court had sought the statistics after noting that even after a year, the Pune local police and later, the State CID, failed to make any headway investigating the brutal murder of builder Nikhil Rane.
During the last decade, while Maharashtra's population has gone up by 1.56 crore — from 9.67 crore in 2001 to 11.23 crore in the current year — the corresponding increase in sanctioned strength of the state police force is a mere 65,686. According to the affidavit filed by NM Shinde, deputy secretary, home department, the total number of police personnel in Maharashtra in 2001 was 1,42,073 and has increased to 2,07,768 by mid-June 2011.
The affidavit adds that 692 police personnel have been deputed for protection of 534 non-categorised persons, who do not figure in the official list of VIPs or VVIPs, whereas nearly 2,000 police personnel are busy securing VIPs or VVIPs.
On November 23, 2009, Rane was shot dead by unknown assailants on the busy Jungli Maharaj Road in Pune. Initially, the Shivaji Nagar police investigated the matter, which was later taken over by the local crime branch. But, when even the crime branch failed to crack the case, the hight court roped in the state CID, which too failed to name suspects even after a year. The court then handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation on June 13, 2011.
The court sought statistics about the state police force, as the case raised a question about the skills of the Maharashtra police.