Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday directed the state police to immediately withdraw personnel from “non-essential” duties and deploy them on “streets” for the security of people. In a bid to streamline the system’s functioning and promote welfare of personnel, the state government also asked the Commission of Police and Senior Superintendents of Police to carry out a manpower audit.
Addressing administrative and police officers here, the Chief Minister said his government had decided to implement “sweeping” police reforms, in-line with the Supreme Court’s directives and the promises made in the Congress’s poll manifesto.
An official spokesman said a State-Level Review Committee (SLRC), being headed by the DGP (Law and Order), is already in place to review the security being provided to various ‘protectees’.
The committee will carry out a comprehensive review of the security being provided to constitutional, public functionaries, officials and individuals, he said.
It will submit its recommendations on the security cover being provided to each of the ‘protectees’ to Punjab DGP Suresh Arora by March 24, the spokesman said.
Amarinder directed the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, CPs and SSPs to immediately carry out an exercise to rationalise the boundaries of police stations.
They have been asked to send their proposal to the Home Department within two weeks, the spokesman said.
The Chief Minister said his government had decided to carry out territorial restructuring of police stations and sub-divisions to increase efficiency.
Amarinder also directed officials to end the ‘Halqa In-charge’ system in the state.
Steps should be taken to ensure fixed working hours for police personnel, especially for those at police stations and posts, the Chief Minister said.
Pointing out that his government had decided to implement a fixed schedule for the police, except in the case of emergency, to improve working conditions and allow them to look after their families, Amarinder said the welfare of personnel was one of his key electoral promise and he was committed to implementing it.
To “ensure” and “restore” the rule of law in the state, the Chief Minister said he believed in giving a free-hand to his officers, but expected time-bound accountability and results.
He made it clear that there would be no interference of any kind in day-to-day administration, in the working of police stations and core policing functions, such as investigations and traffic enforcement.