Punjab govt moots police commissionerate system for Mohali, Patiala, Bathinda
Tackling crime: Under the new setup, IG and DIG-rank officials will be posted as police commissioners with powers of executive magistrate.punjab Updated: Aug 08, 2017 09:53 IST
The Punjab government is planning to introduce police commissionerate system in Mohali, Patiala and Bathinda to meet law and order and internal security requirements because of fast urbanisation.
Under the commissionerate system, there is involvement of senior and experienced police officials of the rank of IG and DIG, who would be entrusted with powers of executive magistrate.
The proposal for converting these three cities into police commissionerates was doing rounds during the previous SAD-BJP government too. Sources say the file for the new system is now with the home department. The final call will be taken by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who also holds the home portfolio.
Mohali is the fit case for having a police commissionerate as it has witnessed rapid urbanisation. According to police data, households in Mohali, Zirakpur and Kharar have increased five times since 2010.
“The urbanisation has led to spurt in the crime and other law and order problems, and it is difficult for the present police setup to handle the situation. The migration towards the city has also changed the demography of crime, which needs a different system to deal with,” said a senior police official dealing with the proposal.
The police commissionerate system was introduced in February 2010 in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana and its adjoining areas were converted into different zones headed by DIG or IG-rank officials as commissioners of police.
Though Patiala and Bathinda are also on the list of cities proposed for police commissionerates, these may miss the bus due to the 10-lakh population criteria.
However, sources said, the government has the power to relax the norm as was done in case of Jalandhar in 2010. “Patiala being a home city of the chief minister has a strong case as well,” said an officer.
Talking to HT, Punjab director general of police Suresh Arora confirmed that the proposal may come up for discussion.
Finance not an issue
The proposed system has no major financial implications and would not require additional manpower as human resource mobilisation would be done through internal structuring within the police. Punjab Police already have a heavy setup of senior officials ((45 IGs) since terrorism days.
“Many of these IGs, DIGs and other officials are posted on seats which are idle. Posting these officials in commissionerates will improve policing,” said a DGP- rank officer.
KNOW THE SYSTEM
In the new system, senior officials of the rank of IG and DIG will be posted as commissioners of police. The commissioners will have the powers of executive magistrate or district magistrate for 10 Acts, including the Indian Explosives Act, 1884, Mental Health Act, 1987, Poisons Act, 1919, Police (Incitement of Disaffection Act), 1922, Immoral Traffic (Preventive Act), 1956, Arms Act, 1959, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Sarais Act, 1967, Cinematographer Act, 1952, and the Child Marriage Restrain Act, 1929. “It’s a different setup of policing that deals with the city areas. Crime investigating agency, special investigating units for economic offences, narcotics, gangsters, technical crimes and intelligence and urban crimes are dealt with specialised attention under the commissionerate system,” said a senior cop.