Day after DGP vs DGPs, Punjab CM forms panel; warns of stern action
A day after the Punjab government faced embarrassment after director general of police (human resource development) Siddharth Chattopadhyaya made allegations against DGP Suresh Arora, who is the state police chief, and DGP (intelligence) Dinkar Gupta in the Punjab and Haryana high court in a drug racket case, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday warned that he would not tolerate any indiscipline in the force.
A spokesperson said the chief minister discussed the issue with NS Kalsi, home secretary; Suresh Kumar, chief principal secretary to the CM; and DGP Arora, and directed them to “examine the matter and suggest suitable action, as necessary to resolve the same”. Inclusion of DGP Arora in this committee formed by the CM to probe the matter is an indication that the CM continues to affirm faith in him.
Chattopadhyaya, in his application to the HC to stay investigation against him in a suicide case, alleged that he was being targeted as he had found “involvement” of Arora and Gupta in a drug racket case that he is probing. The court stayed the suicide case probe against Chattopadhyaya.
Amarinder, in his Saturday statement, was of the view that any grievance by any member of the police force, including those against colleagues, should be routed through the well-established administrative procedures and channels laid down for the purpose, said the spokesperson. “There are well laid down hierarchies that need to be stringently adhered to, if the police force is to function efficaciously,” the CM was quoted as saying.
The CM also said that as a former member of a uniformed force — Indian Army, in his case — he was of the opinion that any act of indiscipline is a matter of grave concern, to be treated with seriousness. “The 80,000-strong Punjab Police force naturally looks up to its senior officers for leadership and direction, but internal discord or friction could seriously undermine its professional and operational capabilities,” said Amarinder.
The state police, “which had bravely fought militancy in the state in the 1980s and ’90s”, is required to be “both professional and transparent” in its functioning, the CM pointed out. He added that police personnel, especially senior officers, are in the public eye at all times and need to exercise due caution in their personal and professional conduct. He stressed that he would not hesitate to take stern action, if needed, to check indiscipline.
Also, the CM directed the home secretary and the DGP, Arora, to ensure all investigations in the drug cases are carried out impartially, without fear or favour. DGP Chattopadhyaya made the allegations in a drug case.
Amarinder said his government is committed not only to the elimination of drugs but also to stringent punishment, under the law, to those responsible for destroying the state’s future generation with this menace.