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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Nearly 10% posts vacant in Punjab Police: DGP to HC

The DGP was summoned by the court after additional director general of police (ADGP) and head of the special task force (drugs prevention) Harpreet Sidhu had apprised the court in the last hearing that an additional 1,000 cops were required for the task force.

punjab Updated: Sep 04, 2019 12:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta has said that 8,000 sanctioned posts of cops are lying vacant in Punjab.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta has said that 8,000 sanctioned posts of cops are lying vacant in Punjab.(Reuters photo)
         

Punjab director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta on Tuesday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that 8,000 sanctioned posts of cops, a 10% of 87,000 policemen, are lying vacant in the state.

“The matter has been taken up with the chief minister, who has agreed (for recruitment),” Gupta told the high court during resumed hearing of a suo motu petition initiated in January in which a slew of directions to deal with drug menace was issued.

The DGP was summoned by the court after additional director general of police (ADGP) and head of the special task force (drugs prevention) Harpreet Sidhu had apprised the court in the last hearing that an additional 1,000 cops were required for the task force.

The DGP told the court that the STF has 415 personnel and an additional manpower of 250 is being added to the force, taking the number to 665, which will bring down their reach to acting against drug peddlers down to district-level units. So far, the STF units have been functioning at the police-range level. Taking note of Gupta’s submissions, the court asked the government to consider increasing the number of policemen in the task force.

‘OVERCROWDING A PROBLEM IN PUNJAB JAILS’

Admitting that overcrowding was a major problem in jails, the DGP said the Ludhiana jail has 3,000 prisoners against the capacity to lodge 1,000 inmates. The DGP told the court that the chief minister had taken up the matter with the Union home minister recently, upon which the court asked the Centre to provide adequate funds to the state.

The DGP told court that jail staff would be trained in dealing with drug addicts in a phased manner. Around 300 de-addictions centres and clinics are running in central jails, he said.

The court also asked the state to provide outpatient opioid assisted treatment (OOAT) clinics in all jails on the lines of central jails.

‘DGP OFFICE TO HAVE LIAISON UNIT WITH ED’

The court was told that to deal with kingpins in the drugs trade, a nodal office will be established in the DGP’s office to increase liaison with the Enforcement Directorate as the central agency has the power to launch a probe under money laundering law. The court was also told that all cases registered under the NDPS Act will be monitored by an assistant commissioner of police-level officer in the state. It was also informed that cops are being sensitised about the drug laws to plug loopholes in investigation.

The court too pointed out that it comes across many cases on routine basis where an accused was let off as investigating officers did not follow the laid down procedures. Searches are to be conducted by gazetted officers only and policemen need to be sensitised about this, the court underlined. The court also directed the DGP to initiate disciplinary proceedings against officials, who resile from their statements.

First Published: Sep 04, 2019 00:56 IST