Four years after the decision to bifurcate Gadchiroli district into two police districts was taken,the state police now want these to be merged into one police district under the revenue district of Gadchiroli. The home department sent a recommendation to this effect to the chief secretarys office Tuesday.
Following a spurt in Naxal attacks in a year,the then state Director General of Police S S Virk in 2009 decided to bifurcate Gadchiroli into police districts of Gadchiroli and Aheri. The decision was taken on the grounds that Gadchiroli,given its size,was administratively unmanageable and the problem of Naxal insurgency was grave.
Gadchiroli and Aheri were to be headed by two superintendents of police. At that time,Maharashtra police also bifurcated Nagpur police range by demarcating a separate Gadchiroli range consisting of two police districts in Gadchiroli and attaching Gondia with it. This range was headed by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG).
Additional Director General (Special Operations) P K Jain said it was earlier felt that two districts would mean effective policing but over the years,they realised otherwise. We realised that it would be better to have one command point,resting with one SP. It was observed that each district was trying to shirk responsibility. Hence,we want the decision revoked, said Jain.
Chief secretary J K Banthia said the department has asked police for a justification before the proposal is sent to the cabinet for approval. After the decision was taken,additional manpower and resources were deployed. There has to be adequate justification to reverse this. Once that is done,the proposal will be sent to the cabinet, said Banthia.
A retired top cop said the decision to bifurcate always remained on paper. Aheri never got an SP. The additional SP was not independent and reported to the Gadchiroli SP instead of the DIG. There was lack of clarity over hierarchy and command. This led to the idea of having one SP instead of two commands, he said.