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Police Commissionerate a welcome move, but where’s the infrastructure?

Under the police commissionerate system, enforcement of law and order will be strict. But mere enforcement of strict law and order will not make the police commissionerate system a successful one. Common people, for whom the system has been adopted, should be given options by the administration for the system’s success…

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, January 5: Guwahati has recently joined the league of big cities in the country with adoption of police commissionerate system by ending the administration of senior superintendent of police. Given the city’s complex law and order situation, this is a step in right direction. But the State government doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure in place to run the system of police commissionerate smoothly and effectively.

      Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who earlier kept on announcing the introduction of police commissionerate system for the city, had never given stress on the development of necessary infrastructure to run the system effectively. Under the police commissionerate system, 17 additiol DCPs have been appointed. The government has appointed all police officers under the commissioner of police not below the rank of assistant commissioner of police as executive magistrates with jurisdiction within the said metropolitan area and they shall exercise and perform their powers and duties under the control of the commissioner of police. Besides, the government has constituted three police districts headed by a deputy commissioner of police for each district.

Now, the question is: Is the present system of policing in the city ready enough to work under the supervision of these newly appointed additiol top police officials? Where will they sit?

According to the Chief Minister, creating the commissionerate was not about giving more power to the police but greater responsibility to serve the people. The focus of the police commissionerate would be on civil policing, he announced.

Under the police commissionerate system, enforcement of law and order will be strict. But mere enforcement of strict law and order will not make the police commissionerate system a successful one. Common people, for whom the system has been adopted, should be given options by the administration for the system’s success. For example, to curb illegal parking in the city, people have to be given altertive/sufficient parking options/arrangements. Otherwise, tirade against illegal parking by police will not be successful.

Official sources said that there was a prior need for preparing the ground before the police commissionerate system being introduced in the city but the system is being set in motion hurriedly and haphazardly.

In his initiative to modernize city policing, Gogoi has forgotten to upgrade policing in district headquarters. What has Gogoi done in this regard in the last 14 years? Recently, Gogoi announced that FIR filing system to be made online for the convenience of public but many police stations across the State don’t have computers.

Assam has presently around 300 plus police stations and outposts and 50 per cent of them don’t have proper infrastructure to carry out their work.

Criticizing Prime Minister rendra Modi for his “smart police” concept, Tarun Gogoi said that “police are really smart”, but what about the police in rural areas of the State. Are they really smart?

More than six years have passed, the Chief Minister’s promise to separate the investigation part from daily policing to add teeth to the force’s functioning is yet to become a reality.

Almost all police stations, including police stations in the city, have been grappling with large number of pending cases due to shortage of manpower and necessary infrastructure. When will Gogoi take steps to solve these problems faced by the State Police?

A well–planned, timely and phase wise action plan is required to make policing a success. A mere introduction of the police commissionerate system is likely to serve the purpose less. Will the government ponder over it? 

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Ankur Kalita

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