Sanjay Bainiwal, who is to head Chandigarh Police, will inherit several challenges in policing Chandigarh from his predecessor Tajender Singh Luthra, from cadre wars to chain snatchings. Bainiwal, a 1989 batch IPS officer, who is handling women’s safety, airport and police modernisation as a special commissioner in Delhi presently, told Chandigarh Newsline that policing in Chandigarh is bound to be different from that in the capital.
“Delhi and Chandigarh are different and their requirements are different too. I have lived in Chandigarh earlier and I have been visiting very often here, but holding the charge of City Police head, I will analyse the current scenario and act accordingly.” But here’s a list of issues that could claim his immediate attention.
Cadre war in Chandigarh Police – The cadre war began in the time of former IGP, UT Police, PK Srivastava, when Naunihal Singh was also posted as the SSP of Chandigarh Police. Naunihal Singh, a Punjab cadre office, in a statement recorded in court, blamed the UT Police’s “problem of a permanent cadre up to the rank of DySP” for “indiscipline and insubordination” in the force. Naunihal made these assertions while deposing as a defence witness in the graft case against former SP Deshraj Singh in the CBI court.
Naunihal had submitted in court that “Chandigarh Police is an excellent police force. However, it has a problem of a permanent cadre up to the rank of deputy superintendent of police. This over a period of time had created serious issues of discipline in the force especially where senior officers had tried to hold the subordinate accountable for their actions or discipline them in the larger public interest”. He added, “The situation was serious enough to be brought to the notice of seniors, including the Ministry of Home, and there was active consideration to merge the permanent cadre of the subordinate officers with the AGMUT cadre so as to curtail the creation of vested interests in the city”.
Officials moving CAT for promotion – After the DANIPS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police) cadre officials began to be posted to Chandigarh Police on DSP rank from 2013, UT Police inspectors have been moving the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) seeking promotion as per quota and also seeking repatriation of DANIPS-cadre officers. The matter became so sensitive that in January this year, there were orders for repatriation of DANIPS officers back to their parent cadre and the CAT bench even rapped the UT Administration for promoting the eligible inspector to the rank of DSP. Not only inspectors, even a Chandigarh cadre officer promoted to DSP, Ramgopal, had sought promotion to SP by citing the case of another Chandigarh Police official, Roshanlal, who had been promoted to the rank of SP City.
Internal fights among policemen: There have been internal fights, not only between cadres and among senior officials, but also at the inspector level, with the mudslinging leading to disciplinary problems in the police force. Recently, an inspector of Chandigarh Police, Dilsher Singh Chandel, reportedly alleged that Inspector Ram Rattan had fabricated documents pertaining to an NDPS case. Inquiry is being conducted by DSP South Harjeet Kaur.
Police personnel held by CBI for bribery: Chandigarh Police officials have been caught on charges of corruption by CBI. Recently, on April 26, the CBI court had sentenced Chandigarh Police Sub-Inspector Sanjeev Kumar Sharma and trader Subhash Kataria to two years’ imprisonment on charges of corruption in a 2008 case. In 2017, the CBI arrested SI Mohan Singh of Sector 31 PS for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 9 lakh and accepting Rs 2 lakh from a Manimajra resident, Prem Singh Bisht. The SI had alleged that he was taking the money on behalf of his SHO.
Snatchings: Apart from administrative issues, a major challenge ahead of the new DGP would be snatchings in the city. By May 20 this year, Chandigarh has already witnessed 95 snatchings. Out of this, 37 purses, 38 mobile phones and 19 gold chains were snatched in different parts of the city. In March, the Punjab and Haryana High Court took cognisance of the spurt in snatching and rapped the UT Police following which the police started seeking information of each snatching trial that is on at the District Courts. Meanwhile, as per data, in 2017, a total of 238 snatching incidents were reported while the number was 167 in 2016.
‘Might bring some digital policing concept as delivered in Delhi’
In Delhi, Sanjay Bainiwal has worked towards digitising the filing of complaints with the police. Bainiwal introduced Himmat Application for women’s safety in Delhi. The Himmat app was initially women-centric, but later, it was made available to all, including minors and senior citizens.
“Since I have a vision of being active in the digital era, I may come up with a new digital concept for the people of Chandigarh but that will be after analysing the requirement of Chandigarh,” said Bainiwal.