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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Punjab DGP orders withdrawal of ‘unauthorised’ gunmen with politicos, officials

Directs police commissioners, SSPs, battalion commandants to comply with direction by march 14 or face salary cut

india Updated: Mar 12, 2019 22:30 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta(HT File )

Punjab director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta has directed the police commissioners, senior superintendents of police (SSPs) and commandants of battalions to immediately withdraw the ‘unauthorised’ deployment of gunmen with politicians and officers across the state, terming it “frittering away of precious government resources and manpower”.

An estimated 1,500-2,000 cops are assigned such duties in an unauthorised manner in the state, it is learnt.

Expressing concern over the findings of a recent security review, Gupta in a strongly worded letter has lambasted the district and city police chiefs for deploying a large number of personnel “on their own’’ without an approval from the security wing.

In the letter, the DGP has said if the orders are not complied with by March 14, Rs 52,000 per constable will be deducted from the salary of the SSP, police commissioner or the commandant concerned.

“All the field officers are advised to set their house in order and withdraw all unauthorised security personel by March 14 noon and send a compliance report to the DGP office with a demi-official (DO) letter,” it reads.

The letter also says that written instructions sent earlier (by Gupta’s predecessors) were “ignored and overlooked”.

“It has come to notice that a large number of cops from police lines, police stations and police posts have been deployed with different individuals by officers of various ranks, including SHOs (station house officers),” reads the letter.

Apart from the deployment of cops as gunmen with political leaders, mainly from the ruling Congress, the DGP office’s assessment has found that personnel have been provided to civil, judicial and police officers by various district police chiefs in excess of security norms approved by the state cabinet.

VIP culture goes unabated

In its manifesto, the Congress in the run-up to the 2017 assembly polls had promised to end VIP culture in the state after coming to power. Notwithstanding the government’s claims, the VIP culture continues to thrive even as the party is in power for two years with local leaders of the ruling party seen moving around with gunmen.

In many cases, the district police chiefs have given pilot vehicles to MLAs and other leaders. The misuse of the police force was rampant in the previous SAD-BJP government as well.

A recent internal probe by the police department also found that a large number of cops, drivers and cooks were deployed in the houses of senior police and administrative officials by the commandants of battalions just to oblige them.