My mes­sage for po­lice is sim­ple: Per­form or per­ish

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION - Man­ish Chan­dra Pandey and Pankaj Jaiswal let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

LUC­KNOW: The last three weeks since the 1983-batch IPS of­fi­cer OP Singh joined as the DGP of Ut­tar Pradesh have been event­ful.

Soon af­ter he as­sumed charge on Jan­uary 23 —a gap of 23 days af­ter his ap­point­ment was an­nounced — Singh had to en­sure the peace­ful re­lease San­jay Leela Bhansali’s Pad­maa­vat. A day af­ter its re­lease, com­mu­nal clashes broke out in Kas­ganj, re­sult­ing in the death of a man dur­ing a Ti­ranga Ya­tra on Repub­lic Day.

Now, Singh faces an­other chal­lenge of con­vinc­ing in­dus­tri­al­ists and en­trepreneurs at­tend­ing the Ut­tar Pradesh in­vestors’ sum­mit from Fe­bru­ary 21 that the state is safe as an in­vest­ment desti­na­tion.

In an in­ter­view to Hin­dus­tan Times, he spoke on the spate of po­lice en­coun­ters of late and the chal­lenge of pre­sent­ing the ‘friendly face’ of po­lice be­fore in­vestors. Ex­cerpts: I will give you the fig­ures and you de­cide. At least 39 crim­i­nals have been neu­tralised in po­lice ac­tion since March 20 last year. You call them en­coun­ters but that seems to carry a neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tion. Please note that 37 crim­i­nals out of 39 car­ried a re­ward on them. From March 20 to Jan­uary 31, we car­ried out 1,142 op­er­a­tions in which 2,744 crim­i­nals were ar­rested and 1,853 had re­ward on them. In all po­lice op­er­a­tions car­ried out since March last year, 265 crim­i­nals were in­jured. In th­ese op­er­a­tions, 247 po­lice­men were also in­jured. I have lost four brave po­lice­men dur­ing en­coun­ters. I know there are some who call the en­coun­ters fake. Let them come to us. We have records with us. I have told po­lice to be soft with the com­mon man but ag­gres­sive with crim­i­nals. For the first time, 167 crim­i­nals have been booked un­der the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Act in a year. Un­der the Gang­ster Act, we have seized the prop­erty of crim­i­nals in 169 cases. Prop­erty worth ₹146 crore has been seized, which shows our in­tent. We will re­spond if we get no­tices. There has not been any fake en­counter and there isn’t any­thing to hide. We have learnt that some peo­ple are claim­ing po­lice­men were car­ry­ing out en­coun­ters to get out-of-turn pro­mo­tions. That pol­icy stands scrapped for the last three years. Da­coits had been strik­ing when I took over. There were in­ci­dents on Jan­uary 18 and 22. I took over on Jan­uary 23. There were prob­lems in Mathura too. So, yes, I started with a slight handicap. But the good thing was we suc­cess­fully su­per­vised Pad­maa­vat’s re­lease on Jan­uary 25 and our ef­forts were widely ap­pre­ci­ated. Many peo­ple felt that in com­par­i­son to other states, we did a splen­did job. We were able to per­suade peo­ple not to take law into their hands. Karni Sena protested in a peace­ful man­ner by dis­tribut­ing flow­ers, urg­ing cinema hall own­ers not to put up the movie. That was the bad part. How­ever, we swung into ac­tion im­me­di­ately. The Rapid Ac­tion Force (RAF) and Provin­cial Armed Con­stab­u­lary (PAC) were de­ployed and peace com­mit­tee meet­ings or­gan­ised by get­ting peo­ple from both sides to hear the voice of rea­son. Within a day, nor­malcy was re­stored in Kas­ganj. Since then, the jour­ney has been more pro­fes­sional as I be­gan tour­ing the state to gal­vanise my men. I told them I mean busi­ness. The mes­sage was sim­ple — per­form or per­ish. That’s what I have said, from Luc­know to Kan­pur and Meerut. We are go­ing all out against land mafia. Mem­bers of the anti-romeo squad have un­der­gone be­havioural train­ing. We have re­duced re­sponse time of ‘Dial 100’ from 23 min­utes to 14 min­utes and 53 sec­onds. So, we are try­ing to im­prove ser­vice. We also de­cided to have a ‘po­lice­man of the month’ at each sta­tion, where per­form­ers will be hon­oured and their pho­to­graphs dis­played. The sys­tem of on­line FIRS is be­ing strength­ened fur­ther. That is a part of so­cial polic­ing. We have iden­ti­fied vul­ner­a­ble exam cen­tres. In Jaun­pur, we busted a gang pub­lish­ing fake an­swer sheets, we ar­rested some ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment of­fi­cials in Har­doi, and acted against copy­ing mafia in Bal­lia. We want our men to have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. That is why I have picked peo­ple who are pre­sentable and give a good pic­ture of our polic­ing. There will be some kind of model de­ploy­ment. In­stead of quan­ti­ta­tive, we are go­ing in for qual­i­ta­tive de­ploy­ment. I will not di­vulge full de­tails as it is re­lated to se­cu­rity but my em­pha­sis is broadly on smart and com­mu­nica­tive polic­ing for the sum­mit. We are choos­ing per­son­nel from all over the state, not only from Luc­know. We are cre­at­ing an ef­fec­tive traf­fic sys­tem. We would like to present our­selves as a mod­ern po­lice force and show­case our achieve­ments.


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