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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

The cop who courted controversies

Monica Sharma , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, December 11, 2013
First Published: 16:28 IST(11/12/2013) | Last Updated: 17:47 IST(11/12/2013)

Tall with a firm handshake and cop written all over his face, Naunihal Singh would have wanted city residents to remember him as a tough police officer who meant business. But more than three years after he donned the role of UT senior superintendent of police, residents will remember his name for reasons other than effective policing.

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For refusing to take the corner house for "security reasons", to cops raising slogans against him outside his residence after midnight, defending court cases, factionalism and clear divide between UT Police and their Punjab counterparts: Naunihal Singh knew the city, being a former student at Panjab University in the 1990s.

With his term ending on December 15, the big difference he made was creating awareness among city girls about coming out in the open to lodge complaints against sexual harassment, be it on roads, educational institutes or offices. His campaign resulted in spurt of complaints by girls. His departure saw a Ludhiana-based businessman moving Punjab and Haryana high court, apprehending threat to his life from the SSP, only to later ask to withdraw his petition.

He was welcomed to a divided Chandigarh Police force in September 2010, but under 'target'. The lines were clearly drawn as he appointed Punjab officers as DSP in the Chandigarh Police. Later during his tenure, the 1997-batch officer was also pulled up by the high court for shoddy investigations and poor policing.

The SSP has some positives to his credit too. They include cracking immigration scams involving work and student visas. The beat system was strengthened, and inter-cadre postings were executed in the UT police. He was also awarded with President Police medal for meritorious service and also promoted to the rank of DIG.


A look at SSP's tenure

The surge in cases of crime against women in the tricity has made the fairer sex jittery. However, women refuse to buckle down and take on their perpetrators with unceasing vigour.

Highs

Oct 2010:
Got officers from other cadres and introduced weekly parade system.
Jan 2011: Strengthened beat system, PCR response system and community policing.
Jan 2011: Solved north India's biggest dacoity involving `10 crore - Tanishq robbery case.
Aug 2011: Unearthed immigration rackets and arrested around 100 fraudsters.
May 2012: Organised sports activities, including gully cricket, in which around 9,000 children participated from different colonies and police made it to the Limca book of records.
Sept 2012: Started women safety campaign for creating awareness among girls to raise their voice against sexual harassment.

Lows

Dec 2010:
Didn't shift in the Sector-7 house allocated to him, stating it was open from three sides and wasn't too safe.
Jan 2011: SSP was found wanting in the infamous Khushpreet case where he failed to take stock of the situation, resulting in the death of five-year-old Burail resident.
July 2012: A Ludhiana resident levelled allegations of raping, molesting and blackmailing her against the SSP. The woman had moved HC, but her petition was disposed of.
Aug 2013: IGP RP Upadhyaya objected to stunt shows to which the SSP gave approval at a traffic awareness rally.
Oct 2013: Pulled up by HC for shoddy investigation in the Tavera-Audi accident, in which three persons were killed in July.
From May to Oct 2012: The disciplined force saw 'voices of revolt' within the cops. DSP Jagbir Singh and the SSP had entered into an altercation at a passing out parade after the DSP refused to obey to his orders. Crime branch inspector Amanjot Singh submitted his resignation following departmental inquiries, alleging harassment by the SSP. Factionalism and politics too increased between the UT cadre and Punjab officer.

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