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200 policemen found absconding in Patna, salary withheld

The DIG (central range), during an inspection of Patna police lines, found that 200 officers and constables had been absconding for the last two-and-a-half years.

patna Updated: Feb 23, 2018 12:32 IST
Mukesh Kumar Mishra
Mukesh Kumar Mishra
Hindustan Times, Patna
Patna police lines,Policemen absconding,Bihar police
With 8,500 constables within its ranks, the Patna police faces a scarcity of nearly 2,000 personnel. (HT File Photo/For representation only)

The Patna police are grappling with the problem of absconders within its rank.

On a surprise inspection of the Patna police lines Thursday afternoon, DIG (central range) Rajesh Kumar discovered that over 200 jawans and officers were absconding for the last two-and-a-half years. Another 300-400 cops were either underutilised or “in hiding” and 50 others attached as personal bodyguards of private individuals, with practically no threat perception.

“This is a luxury the Patna police cannot afford,” said Kumar.

With 8,500 constables within its ranks, the district police force faces a scarcity of nearly 2,000 constables.

Kumar held a munshi (constable) and a sub-inspector responsible for the mess at the Police lines, and suspended them with immediate effect. He also directed officials to stop forthwith disbursal of salary to absconding cops, while issuing them showcause notices. They have been asked to report to duty within three days or face suspension.

“As per the Bihar Police Act, cops absconding for more than six months can be summarily dismissed, without even initiating disciplinary proceedings against them. We will initiate action against them,” said Kumar.

The DIG found that many cops, having the “right connection” were assigned either no duty or light responsibilities, like processing files and correspondences. Besides, against a requirement of handful personnel, surplus cops were deployed for light work, leaving field units and police stations severely understaffed.

Kumar also ordered withdrawal of personal security guard of private individuals who used them more as a status symbol than anything else.

“I have ordered withdrawal of at least 50 bodyguards, attached to socialites, doctors, builders, promoters and small-time politicians, facing practically no threat perception. These bodyguards were provided many years back, with the government paying for them,” added Kumar.

After the crackdown, Kumar mobilised manpower and constituted a 35-member special commando unit to be stationed at Kotwali police station for raids, searches and action against organised criminals. A mini bus and a bulletproof SUV were provided to them for mobility.

“Deployment of police personnel and ensuring their proper utilisation is the responsibility of sergeant, sergeant major and deputy superintendent of police, stationed at the Police Line. Besides, as per the internal management system of Patna police, superintendents of police are supposed to visit the Police Line once a week,” added Kumar.

Patna has five SPs — rural, central, east, west, and one for traffic — in addition to 7-8 sergeants, four sergeant majors and one DSP at the Police Line.

Given the scarcity of security personnel, the Patna police frequently requisition cops from headquarters and adjoining districts. Over 500 cops were requisitioned from Gaya (Shahabad police range), Nalanda, the Bihar Military Police and the police headquarters recently during the sixth India region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association organised here between February 17 and 20.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 12:32 IST