Rakesh Asthana hints at rejig of Delhi police force to improve productivity
Newly-appointed Delhi Police commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Saturday said that an internal committee of senior officers is categorising police stations across the city on the basis of crimes, communal sensitivity and VIP security so that “appropriate skilled officers” can be posted to improve the productivity of the force.
Outlining his vision for the city police during a virtual meeting of over 10,000 police personnel on Saturday, he also insisted on ensuring communal harmony in the Capital and called for unequivocal strict action against criminals as “they have no religion or community”.
DCP Chinmoy Biswal, who is also the Delhi Police spokesperson, said, “In view of the upcoming Independence Day, the commissioner directed that local police should rope in cooperation of street vendors, small shopkeepers, auto drivers, rickshawalas etc to act as our ‘eyes and ears’ against terrorist or criminal designs. These common people on ground can be vigilant to act as our force multipliers and form a part of our community policing to keep the city safe and secure with greater public cooperation and participation.”
“ Our chief said that there should be fear of police among criminals and a sense of security among the law-abiding citizens. The criminals should have fear of law and it can only be instilled if we ourselves are disciplined to core... Insisting on fairness and impartiality, the CP said that criminals have no religion or community and ordered unequivocal strict action on criminals,” Biswal said, adding that Asthana told the force that communal harmony is of utmost importance in the national capital and that it has to be maintained by the police through engagement with leaders of all communities.
During the meeting, Asthana told officers that he will also see if duties of law and order and investigation can be separated for all officers at police station. Currently, 30 police stations are trying this model where officers are either posted on investigation or law and order duties, in an effort to ensure productivity and leave no room for clash of tasks.
Asthana further said that he is exploring the feasibility of eight-hour shifts for personnel. “We never had shift system in Delhi Police though Mumbai Police,which implemented it, noted an increase in productivity. Maybe he will start shift system at a few police stations and see if it works well, “ said a senior police officer who attended the meeting.
During the briefing, Asthana also assured the force that he will hold an open session at his office every Friday to address grievances of police personnel.
To be sure, this is the first time that Asthana, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer, is working in the Delhi Police. Senior officers in Delhi Police are from the AGMUT cadre of the Indian Police Service (IPS).
The last officer from outside AGMUT cadre to be appointed as Delhi Police chief was Ajai Raj Sharma, an Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer, who was commissioner from 1999-2002.