Police and politics: Punjab govt’s move to scrap DIG posts at zonal level hits roadblocks
On November, the proposal was put before the cabinet and faced strong opposition from some ministers, especially from rural development minister Tript Rajinder Bajwapunjab Updated: Nov 21, 2017 09:36 IST
The proposal of the Punjab government to scrap the posts of deputy inspector general (DIG) of police in the field at the zonal level — and have IGs head the zonal ranges instead — has been put on hold.
It was in June that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced the plan, and it was projected as an attempt to “rationalise” the police structure and give charge of ranges to more experienced officers.
But it drew flak from the Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers who saw in it a ploy to give more power to senior cops drawn from the Indian Police Service (IPS).
In case of direct recruits into the PPS, the officers say, it takes 18 years to be promoted to IPS, and then around 14 years of service to become DIG.
Sources told HT that another reason behind the plan to scrap the post of DIG and instead have IGs head ranges is the heavy top level of the police force.
On November, the proposal was put before the cabinet and faced strong opposition from some ministers, especially from rural development minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa, following which it was deferred till further orders.
A PPS officer, who is hoping to become DIG at the age of 56, said: “The move to hand over zones/ranges to IGs will adversely impact our career. In case of a promotee PPS officers in the IPS, they will not get the chance to serve in the field as they become DIG at the fag end of their career. And if there will not be the post of DIG in the field, they have to serve on other low-profile posts of DIGs in other wings.”
“The minimum service for a PPS officer to become IPS is eight years. But, till date, only the 1984 batch of PPS has been lucky to be promoted to IPS in just eight years. After that, the promotion has not been timely,” stated another officer who blamed senior IPS officers for the move. He added, “Already the PPS cadre is neglected as far as promotions are concerned, and now scrapping of range posts will further takes our career to darkness.”
Minister Bajwa too opposed the move in the cabinet meet with similar logic. He told HT, “I didn’t object to the move but politely conveyed to the honourable CM that this move may impact career of PPS officers, who are from our state and get promotions after serving the force at various lower levels. IPS officers in their career get many such important postings in the field but PPS officers should also be given equal opportunity.” He said that thus the move was kept on hold.
Sources told HT that another reason behind the plan to scrap the post of DIG and instead have IGs head ranges is the heavy top level of the police force. “The police department at present has more than 40 IGs and many among them are posted on less important posts, thus their utilisation is not to the full. Putting more professional IPS officers as range heads can improve functioning,” a senior officer of the government said.
First Published: Nov 21, 2017 09:36 IST