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Social disharmony has increased in the state,says S S Virk

“Many people believe Maharashtra is a peaceful state but that is not the case.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
May 13, 2009 10:08:18 pm

“Many people believe Maharashtra is a peaceful state but that is not the case. There are strong undercurrents and social disharmony has increased as compared to the past,” said state Director-General of Police (DGP) S S Virk.

Virk was speaking during a function at the Centre for Police Research at Pashan on Tuesday. He released the seventh issue of the Maharashtra Police Journal and a book Satyakatha and Tapaas ,(Truth and investigation). He also felicitated meritorious police officers,who received the Director-General of Police’s Insignia award.

Virk said “Police cannot prepare for an eventuality like the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in one day.” Telling the officers to ‘pull up their socks,’ he said if the police are not well prepared then such attacks may happen again.

He said the work on setting up a special force proposed by the state government designed to take on terrorists,‘Force One’ is on track and would be completed soon. “I will be visiting the State Reserve Police Force office in the city and take stock of the work done so far,” he said.

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Virk said the government has placed orders for advanced equipment — weapons,bulletproof jackets and binoculars. He said that in addition to his normal duties,a police officer has a social responsibility to maintain communal harmony. It is increasingly seen that different communities are living in isolation but not intermingling. “It is not enough to organise peace committee meetings once a year. A police officer’s role is to ensure that the social fabric of the society is maintained” Virk said,adding that the government is working on the issue of police reforms.

He said that terrorism takes a certain time to be curbed,citing the example of Punjab,where it was quelled only in 1996,around 13 years after Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale died. Terrorism in Punjab claimed 18,000 police personnel,including six IPS officers,six superintendents and 20 deputy superintendents.

On the corruption allegations levelled against him while in Punjab,Virk said

“There was a time when those in the government never wanted me to leave Punjab,even when I wanted to come back to the Maharashtra cadre because they wanted a man who worked. But then a government came that was bent on removing me because I worked.”

‘Police not designed for the work expected of them now’
The police force is not designed to do the work that is expected from them these days,said Director General of Police S S Virk while addressing presspersons at the Centre for Police Research at Pashan on Tuesday afternoon.

Virk said that earlier,the police were only doing the work of tackling crime and was designed for that. But the challenges posed by incidents such as the 26/11 attacks have meant the police force has to now upgrade its skills.

“The Centre for Police research facilities would be used by the police to study the way in which terrorism can be tackled,as tackling terrorism is now one of the most important duties of the police. Police staff are also being trained and started practicing to tackle any eventualities,” said Virk.

When asked about the transfer orders issued to police officers on three occasions on the eve of Lok Sabha election,which created a feeling of resentment among city officers. As many of the appealed to Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) and got stay orders Virk said,“The transfer orders were issued by the Election Commission and we had to abide by them. But if a police officer feels that injustice has been meted out to him he has the right to appeal to MAT.”

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