The new Congress government that took reins in Punjab has promised sweeping police reforms.
In a meeting of top administrative and police officers taken by the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday, it was made clear that it has been decided to implement sweeping police reforms, keeping in view the directives of the Supreme Court and the promises made in the Congress poll manifesto.
A string of directives were issued to the Commission of Police (CPs) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs), asking them to carry out a manpower audit immediately to withdraw police personnel from security and other non-essential duties with a view to putting more police personnel on the streets.
An official spokesperson said that a State Level Review Committee (SLRC) has already been set up under the chairmanship of DGP (Law & Order) to review the security provided by the state police to various protectees. The committee is tasked with the agenda of carrying out a comprehensive security review of the security provided to constitutional/public functionaries, officers as well as private individuals. The committee will submit its report to the state DGP. Suresh Arora with specific recommendations regarding each individual by March 24.
Captain Amarinder directed the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, CPs and SSPs to immediately carry out an exercise to rationalize the police station boundaries and send their proposal to the Home Department within the next two weeks, said a spokesperson.
He said that the CM has ordered an immediate end to the Halqa Incharge system, and the government has decided to carry out territorial restructuring of police stations and sub-divisions to increase functional/operational efficiency.
The CM directed the officers to take steps to ensure fixed working hours for police personnel, especially for those working in the Police Stations and Police Posts, pointing out that his government had decided to implement a schedule of fixed duty hours for the police personnel (except in the case of emergency duties), with a view to improving their working conditions and allow them to look after their families. Captain Amarinder said welfare of police personnel was one of his key electoral promises and he was committed to implementing the same at the earliest.
To ensure and restore the `Rule of Law’ in the state, the chief minister said while he believed in giving a free hand to his officers in day-to-day working, at the same time, however, he would expect accountability and results in a time-bound manner. To this end, he made it clear that there would be no interference of any kind in day-to-day administration as well as in the working of police-stations, and core policing functions, such as police investigations, traffic enforcement etc.
Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) NS Kalsi, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Satish Chandra, Director General of Police Suresh Arora, Principal Secretary Health Vinnie Mahajan, Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies Dr. Roshan Sunkaria, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Gurkirat Kirpal Singh and Deputy Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Amrit Gill.