SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal, a 2009 batch IPS, is confident that his previous stint as an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) with the Chandigarh Police will definitely help him do better policing in Chandigarh. In conversation with Saurabh Prashar he stressed on the strengthening of the beat system and taking a preventive approach in dealing with professional criminals.
Do you think your previous stint with UT police will help you?
Around 2,000 constables and head constables knew me personally. I had worked as an ASI with almost all officers, who are Station House Officers (SHOs) today. I trained in Chandigarh as an ASI and served at least three years in Chandigarh police. The first year was my training, the second service year was in PS 26 and the third was at PS Mani Majra, which is still considered to be the most sensitive police station of the city. I have a better knowledge of the city’s topography and I know which area is vulnerable to which crime. Don’t you think, this will help me do better policing in Chandigarh?
Crime especially gun firing, revenge killing is on a sudden rise in the UT, while killers are yet to be arrested. What is your strategy?
Our investigation is on the right track. These are professional criminals, who always think ahead of the police. There is always a cat and mouse race between the police and criminals. With cracking down on the different aids of criminals lodged in jails, we are working on the preventive front. Indeed, we should have made a foolproof strategy to ensure no gun crimes happen in the city. Gurlal Brar’s murder outside nightclub playboy was blind and we identified the shooters. There was no clue about the assailants in the Sector 9 nightclub firing, we identified the assailants and perpetrators. 60 per cent of these crimes are solved.
SHOs occasionally complain of excess burden of work, law and order duties and investigation of crimes at the police station level. How do you deal with it?
This is not a valid excuse. Police is meant to take on the burden. In Punjab, I had managed entire districts with minimum police force. Big police stations in Punjab have a mere strength of 40 police personnel at most. The SHOs will have to work with the currently available resources. I have no plan to make special investigation units out of the police stations.
Pro-Khalistani material, slogans, pamphlets etc is being seized in Chandigarh. Is there any plan to establish a de-radicalisation wing for misguided youths on the pattern of Punjab Police?
The CID wing of Chandigarh Police is working on this front. It has been given the task of identifying the involved persons. Once the involved youths are identified, we will definitely chalk out a strategy for them. It is indeed a serious issue.
What are the plans for strengthening community policing in Chandigarh?
E-beat system is the only answer to community policing. It is the pet project of DGP Sanjay Baniwal ji. We have almost digitised the beat system record. All kinds of verification are going on through the e-beat system. The Chandigarh Police believes that people should be given provided services without them having to visit nearby police stations.
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