The rising crime in and around Ahmedabad city and the “poor performance” of the police officials could be the reasons behind the recent disbandment of special squads of Joint Commissioner of Police (Sector I) and six deputy commissioners of police.
Sources said that while ordering to disband these squads, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha only allowed the special squads attached with Joint Commissioner of Police (Sector II) and DCP Zone I to function. There are seven zones in Ahmedabad police commissionerate. The policemen deputed to those squads have been sent back to their original postings in the department.
Ahmedabad police have special squads attached with each of the head of the two sectors (Sector I & II) and Zonal DCPs for the past two decades. These squads — consisting of five to six constables and a sub-inspector — work under the senior officers for detection of serious cases and crackdown on gangs.
The kind of cases that these squads are supposed to look into include burglary, vehicle thefts, chain snatching, arson, shoplifting, vandalism, murder, abduction, rape and sexual offences. These squads are expected to aide the concerned police stations in those cases.
However, the recent cases of firing and robbery that rocked the city sent a shock wave right up to the state Home Department that reportedly asked the Ahmedabad police authorities to control the law and order situation in the city.
In the most recent case, two angadias were fired at and looted of Rs 76 lakh a few metres away from the owner’s residence on November 21. A few days later, two contractors were fired at and then looted of Rs 3 lakh at Narol Circle on November 26.
There have been six cases of firing on and robbery of jewellers in the current year. In Chandkheda area, the robbers’ gang had looted the jeweller inside his shop at gunpoint. Five of the accused had been arrested by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch officials.
Similarly, a guest house owner, Ramesh Patidar, was shot at allegedly by rivals on Kathwada road in March this year.
A realtor, Raju Gupta, was shot dead in Bapunagar area in October this year allegedly by his competitors. Similarly, a supervisor of security guards of a private firm, Anil Tiwari, was shot at in Meghaninagar area in February this year by his rivals from Uttar Pradesh.
The series of firing incidents occurred in last one year. The firing and loot of bullion trader Hitesh Zaveri, who was shot dead and looted of Rs 1.9 crore in Satellite area occurred in January this year. Zaveri’s robbery-with-murder case was investigated by Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch officials. It was followed by an armed robbery in the same area when an employee of a petrol pump was robbed of Rs 36 lakh at gunpoint in broad daylight.
While Ahmedabad police commissioner could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, a senior police officer requesting anonymity said, “The recent incidents have triggered panic among the locals and irked government. The government subsequently instructed the police authorities for immediate control on these cases. The commissioner of police was upset with the functioning of the squads.”
However, joint commissioner of police (Sector I) Manoj Agrawal and six of the seven DCPs whose squads have been disbanded refused to comment.