In the wake of Vakola police station shooting, the police department has taken yet another measure to prevent such incidents in the future.
The Local Arms (LA) division of the Mumbai police has instructed all the unit in-charges of the force to ensure only ‘mentally fit’ personnel are given firearms.
All lower-rank police personnel get fire arms from the LA department on the recommendations of the unit in-charge.
“I have issued instructions to prevent Vakola-like incidents in the future. The senior inspectors or unit in-charges will have to check the mental health of personnel carefully before recommending their names. These will then have to be approved by the respective deputy commissioner of police (DCP). Only then will we provide the arms,” said BG Shekhar, local arms deputy commissioner of police.
The senior inspectors and unit in-charges will keep in mind the past conduct of the officers, any stress in their personal lives and similar factors while deciding on recommending their names, sources said.
“The move will make the officers more accountable while deciding which juniors should be given firearms,” another police officer said.
Lower-ranking police personnel get firearms only if their job profile requires it. For instance, policemen posted for VIPs’ protection, constables in detection staff, or those tasked with escorting criminals to courts are given firearms.
If an armed policeman is transferred to a post where his work profile does not need him to carry them, he has to surrender his firearms.
In the police constabulary, only senior constables who have taken arms training get firearms. ASI Shirke had served in police department for more than 30 years and hence was provided a service pistol.