The Punjab Armed Police (PAP) wants its personnel posted in its battalions stationed across the state to purchase fabric for their uniforms from the PAP central canteen in Jalandhar.
The reason – the PAP top brass has said there is no “uniformity” in the uniforms worn by the personnel at present as they purchase the fabric from different outlets and even get the uniform stitched in different patterns.
A specified dress code other than the uniform has also been finalised for the PAP personnel to make them look “disciplined” when they report to their offices on Friday.
According to an official at PAP Jalandhar, “The constables and head constables get yearly allowance for the uniform ranging from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,400”.
As per a letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, issued by PAP Central canteen manager to commandants of In Service Training Centre at Kapurthala, 36th battalion at Bahadurgarh, 9th Battalion at Amritsar and 13th and 82nd battalion recently sought directions from commandants to the personnel in their respective battalions to purchase the fabric from PAP central canteen, Jalandhar.
The letter said that “the decision was taken in a meeting in the office of Additional Director General of Police Armed Battalions where it was decided that all personnel of Punjab Armed Police would wear a similar pattern Khaki uniform.”
As per the letter, a decision pertaining to a dress code on Friday was also taken where PAP personnel are required wear maroon color turban, white shirt and grey pants on Fridays while coming to the office.
Additional Director General of Police Armed Battalions Sanjeev Kalra said the idea was to present PAP as a “disciplined force.” He, however, denied that the armed personnel had been asked to purchase the fabric sourced by PAP central canteen.
Asserting that the variation in color and patterns of the uniform had reached such a level that “if you make eight personnel stand together, uniform of none will match.”
“On August 15 (Independence Day) function, when the armed personnel reported on duty, a huge variation was found in their uniforms. I do not want that to be repeated on January 26 (Republic Day) function. We have not asked the personnel to purchase the fabric from canteen at Jalandhar. In fact, we have put a standard uniform specifying the pattern and made available information about the place from where uniform could be purchased to ensure uniformity,” Kalra said.
However, the letter from the central canteen, Jalandhar, to the armed battalions says that “fabric had been purchased by the purchase committee”.
An official at PAP Jalandhar said “More than 3,000 meters of fabric had been purchased and a number of personnel had even purchased the fabric.”
When asked, Kalra said he had to check before responding to that. He later said, “A meeting was held by the IG where the decision about similar pattern and fabric for uniform of armed personnel was taken. We are not going to force anyone to make purchases from canteen at Jalandhar. A letter to that effect is being issued and we have done the course correction. The armed personnel can make purchase from anywhere but the fabric and pattern should be the same. As far as fabric purchased by us is concerned, any personnel can make purchases from canteen as well.”
On the ‘Friday dress code’, Kalra said, “On Monday, the personnel report to the office in the battalions in uniforms. It was decided that there should be another day where the force should look like a disciplined force. So, a dress code for Friday was finalised. The Friday dress could be also worn on some special functions organised by armed battalions.”