Gujarat police chief P C Thakur has ordered the commissioners and district superintendents to strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) while dealing prohibition cases after recent attacks on policemen across the state by alleged bootleggers and their aides.
After an attack on Shamlaji policemen last week, state Home Minister Rajnikant Patel had asked police officials to plan action in a bid to avert such attacks.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Thakur said: “We have issued directives to all police commissioners in cities and SPs in districts to follow the SOP. In many cases, we noticed that policemen wre not following the SOP.”
He said, “When raided, bootleggers will to escape and in this process they may attack policemen. If precautions not taken, a policeman may even die in these attacks. Every policeman’s life and his contribution to the department are important to us. We don’t want to lose men due to lack of co-ordination, action or miscalculated response in such sensitive cases”.
The policemen from Aravalli and Sabarkantha have faced maximum number of attacks from bootleggers. Their colleagues in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Banaskantha have also faced similar attacks.
The case of sub-inspector A K Vala had brought the entire force together over the demand for compensation for him and his family. Vala was run over by bootleggers when tried to stop a vehicle loaded with illicit liquor, on Shamlaji-Rajasthan highway in March this year. Vala fought for his life for 10 days at a private hospital in Ahmedabad.
In February, constable Amrut Makwana, working with Rajkot Crime Branch, was attacked by an alleged kingpin of illicit liquor trade, Pratik Chandaran, and his family when he went to raid their residence. Makwana and two other constables had raided the premises following Rajkot police commissioner’s orders.
However, the family members of the “bootlegger” stabbed Makwana and thrashed him with iron rods and pipes.
In the same month, locals in Idgah area of Ahmedabad had raided illicit liquor outlets, but the bootleggers attacked them. The attacks led to clashes in Ahmedabad and several policemen from Dariapur police station were injured.
Recently in Banaskantha, three policemen were attacked by alleged bootleggers when they went to raid their den.
As per the SOP, the policemen have to inform their station heads and concerned ACPs or DCPs and SPs (in districts) before carrying out any raid or stopping vehicles for checking. While working on a specific input, under no circumstances, should they go alone.
A raiding party must be formed, loaded with enough defence and rescue materials. In addition to that, the policemen will also not conduct impromptu raids. It will now be the responsibility of the police chiefs in cities and districts to carry out the SOP failing which they will be answerable to the state government.
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