Increasing the conviction rate and making policing pro-public are two top priorities of the new Maharashtra Director General of Police Pravin Dixit. For that, he is looking at participation of the people by strengthening the informal institution of “police mitra” (friends of police).
In an interaction with the media here Tuesday, his first after taking over as DGP, Dixit said, “I am planning to implement the police mitra idea which I implemented here five years ago.”
When Dixit was Nagpur Commissioner of Police, he had implemented the scheme. The city police had appointed some prominent citizens as police mitras to increase efficacy of policing and improve police-public relations. Many police mitras appointed by Dixit during his tenure as CP had come to meet him on Tuesday. To a question if he would have more policemen recruited in the state, Dixit said, “I will have more police mitras.”
He added that credentials of police mitras would be thoroughly checked before appointing them. Dixit, who left the city after a five-day visit, spent three days in Gadchiroli and two in Nagpur. “I tried to understand issues in Gadchiroli. Our jawans are doing very good work there with public help. They are helping people in many ways and getting support. To give an example, our C-60 jawans helped a woman get medical treatment, who in return helped our jawans dodge a Naxal ambush,” Dixit said.
To a question about the alleged failure of the city police to rein in goons intimidating a college lecturer, Dixit said, “I will ensure that my officers take steps.”
When asked how he proposes to tackle growing communalism, Dixit said, “We will make use of increased cyber connectivity and I will present a proposal of holding cyber melavas (meetings) to the state government to ensure better management. One such meeting could be among parents, teachers and students to spread awareness about cyber security, as sensitive messages are often passed through the internet.”