No more special squads in the Mumbai police
Senior officers of the Mumbai police have issued strict instructions to all officers of the rank of additional commissioner of police and deputy commissioner of police (DCP) to not form any special squads in their respective regions and zones. According to the instructions, all raids have to be conducted by officers along with colleagues from their police stations.
According to a senior officer, it has been observed that some officers had prepared squads with select officers from different police stations. While the intention has been to crack down on illegal activities, there have been officers who have used their influence to indulge in criminal activities.
Among the officers who are still with the Mumbai police, additional commissioner of police (south region) Krishna Prakash has his own squad, which will now be disbanded. The members of this squad will now be asked to work exclusively with police stations where they are posted.
According to sources, the guidelines about formation of squads were made strict after the alleged rape of a model at Saki Naka recently, in which two assistant police inspectors and a constable were arrested. The officers were told that in future, the zonal deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) must be kept in the loop before any raids are carried out. Officers had also asked juniors policemen to keep their seniors in the loop about activities such as raids, arrests, detention and questioning.
In the past, special squads, especially in the western region, were ubiquitous, and certain DCPs, and even heads of the western region had their own squads, which cracked sensitive cases and busted gangs of criminals. Around 2012, even a commissioner of police had his own squad, which kept officers of units like the social service branch (SSB) and the crime branch on their toes. However, all these squads were disbanded when former police commissioner Satyapal Singh took over.
Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Deven Bharti said he has asked officers not to form special squads, and to conduct raids with fellow officers of their police station, according to rules.