More police personnel died in road accidents in Jharkhand than left-wing extremist (LWE) attacks in 2015, the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveals.
The state lost eight policemen in Maoist attacks and one during an anti-extremist operation last year. In contrast, 16 personnel were killed in accidents in the same period.
Furthermore, two policemen were injured in anti-extremist operations, while 10 were injured in road accidents, the NCRB report says.
The trend of losing good policemen in accidents has continued in 2016 as well. Additional superintendent of police (anti-corruption bureau) Anand Joseph Tigga died in a road accident on National Highway-75 near Pachamba More on September 1.
Tigga was going to inspect an office in Palamu when his driver lost control over the vehicle and overturned, resulting in grievous head injuries to the officer.
Sub-divisional police officer Mangal Singh was injured in a road accident in Latehar when a JCB machine dashed against his Scorpio on September 2. He was going for an anti-extremist operation.
Police in the districts are now taking a slew of measures to curb such accidents.
Bokaro police conducted a medical test of all the drivers at headquarters on September 6. Bokaro superintendent of police YS Ramesh said that eyesight, blood pressure, sugar and also drinking habits of the drivers were checked. Earlier, the drivers were briefed on dos and don’ts during duty on September 4.
The highway patrolling drivers were also punished by forfeiting their one-day salary for not maintaining their vehicles properly.
“The steps were taken in the backdrop of police officers losing their lives in road accidents due to sheer negligence of the drivers. The checks would prevent accidents due to drivers’ mistake,” he said.
Ranchi police are also thinking of conducting periodic tests of their drivers. “We would conduct a drive to check medical fitness of our drivers including their eyesight and also their alcoholic habits. We would brief them on dos and don’ts while on duty particularly while conducting raids,” said city SP Kishore Kaushal.