After South East district, New Delhi police authorities too have ordered their sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors to stay back at police stations at night and not take off for home.
The officials whose duty hours will drag on under this move understand the need to address staff crunch at night, but are puzzled where to take rest when time permits.
Unlike for station house officers (SHOs), there are no separate rooms in police stations for sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors to catch their breath and recover from extended duty hours.
The order from New Delhi district’s Deputy Commissioner of Police Jatin Narwal, issued on November 18, says, “It has come to notice that upper subordinates posted in police stations of New Delhi district leave their place of duty during night for their residence without prior intimation/permission of concerned ACsP (Assistant Commissioners of Police)…”
Narwal’s order notes such acts cause inconvenience and embarrassment if officers are not available when updates are required on cases or complaints being handled by them. Additionally, it also has a bearing on pending work and unscheduled law and order arrangement.
The order says, “It is desired that henceforth, all the upper subordinates shall remain present in their respective police stations and shall only be permitted to avail (of) one night off in a week and that too with prior written approval of the ACP/SDPO concerned. Violation of the order shall be viewed seriously.”
Sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors at police stations were unwilling to speak on record on this order. On condition of anonymity, however, a sub-inspector said, “Where will we take rest?”
This was separately seconded by others, who claimed they were “managing” after day shifts.
The officials have limited options, said sources. Every police station has three or four rooms for investigating officers to question suspects. Some police stations have barracks for the constabulary.
Aware of the silent groans, a senior police officer said sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors have shifts. “They take turns for rest, after working for eight to 12 hours. During this time they go to their homes. But they have to be ready during emergencies,” added the officer.
The officer pointed out that when required police personnel were rule-bound to work round the clock. Delhi has 164 police stations and more than 78,000 police personnel.