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Punjab police start drive to reform gangsters, bring them back into social mainstream

STRATEGY SHIFT Rehabilitation programme launched in Sangrur; police to ensure fair probe in cases against them: ADGP Chaudhary

punjab Updated: May 11, 2017 19:58 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab police,gangsters,reform
(HT Representative Image)

Finding it tough to tackle gangsters who continue to give sleepless nights to the cops across the state, the Punjab Police, in a strategy shift, has launched a rehabilitation programme for gangsters who are not involved in dreaded crimes, but are on the list of repeated offenders.

The move, aimed at winning over the confidence of gangsters, and their family members, to bring them back into social mainstream, is a part of the multi-pronged strategy chalked out recently to counter the activities of gangsters which are getting serious day by day, according to top police officials.

Additional director general of police (ADGP), law and order, Rohit Chaudhary, has sent a circular about this strategy to all IGs, DIGs and SSPs. He would also attend district-level programmes in this regard to be held in Sangrur and Faridkot next week.

“The gangster issue has been vexing the state for some years. It has shaken the confidence of the common man in the prevailing security environment. For the ‘A’ category gangsters, special Anti-Gangster Squads be formed to chase them down whereas for the ‘B’ category, alongwith efforts to apprehend them, a special drive to contact their family members should be taken up,” reads the circular.

Chaudhary, when contacted, said under this programme, the cops would persuade the families of the ‘B’ category gangsters to exhort them to return to social mainstream and, in return, the cops would assure them fair investigation of their cases.

“It should not be taken as if we are going soft on gangsters. But at the same time, we need to have a different strategy for those who are not directly involved in bigger crime. For example, when I was ADGP (jails), I met a 22-year-old boy in Nabha jail, who was a student of a law college and his crime was that he opened fire in the air when a gang committed a crime. It was his first crime. If we would treat such criminals with the strategy for ‘A’ grade gangsters, it would just convert a pretty criminal to a dreaded one,” said Chaudhary.

On May 8, the programme has already been launched in Sangrur district where the local officials met family members of gangsters in two different programmes in Dhuri and Sunam.

“The outcome of both the events was quite positive and in Dhuri, some gangsters who are on bail also attended our programme, along with their families. The idea is just to convey that if they would be good, the police would also cooperate with them. The district level meet would be held next week,” said Sangrur SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu.

First Published: May 11, 2017 19:52 IST