Use common sense,not old laws: DGP

the day before he retires,Maharashtra’s police chief cautioned against the Vasant Dhoble style of moral policing,saying law enforcers must act with “common sense” and not force “archaic laws” on people.

Written by Smita Nair | Mumbai | Published: July 31, 2012 6:28:30 am

the day before he retires,Maharashtra’s police chief cautioned against the Vasant Dhoble style of moral policing,saying law enforcers must act with “common sense” and not force “archaic laws” on people.

“Senior police inspectors must understand that enforcement of law is meant to uphold human rights. One cannot take cover under archaic laws and force a society to enforce it. Don’t always say legislature. Society doesn’t expect police to bulldoze under the cover of law. (A) good officer,in fact,is one who does policing with abundant common sense,” Director General of Police K Subramanyam told The Indian Express on Monday.

Over the last seven months,Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble has become the face of a moral policing campaign in Mumbai after he began raiding pubs,bars and discotheques.

Even in his parting address to the police force on Monday,Subramanyam chose to touch upon moral policing. The “police’s biggest duty continues to be towards society and not to make judgments on them”,he said at an official farewell ceremony.

It was important for police to be people-friendly to ensure that they got good ground-level intelligence,said the outgoing chief.

“Today,the biggest challenge for us is ground intelligence. Better the public relations,better the information the force gets. In a situation like ours,we cannot afford to invest in modernization and such other aspects until we get a grip on people’s perception. We need to put our minds and efforts into such larger concepts and ensure that the lowest functionary,and also the most vast resource of constabulary is utilised,” Subramanyam said.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) must,in fact,move eventually from investigation to intelligence-gathering,the DGP said. “Today when a case comes to them,or an event happens,they get bogged down with investigation. Investigation should be given to the Crime Branch with time,” he said.

“Collecting intelligence must be the ATS’s core responsibility. It must transmit information gathered to the units in different districts so that they in turn can look for patterns or lead and create a cohesive information infrastructure. In time,the senior police management will have to take a relook at the ATS charter and give it a bigger space.”

In his ten months as head of the Maharashtra Police,Subramanyam’s priority has been to strengthen the force’s anti-Naxalism infrastructure and the ability to gather intelligence.

“We now have a linear and dedicated hierarchy to tackle Naxalism,” he said. “An inspector-general has been appointed to look only into intelligence operations,with officers on the ground reporting to one DIG. Dossiers are being updated constantly,with ample photographs of local heads too coming in now. We have been able to identify top regional leaders and three-four crucial dalams in the last six months.

“But we cannot say the same of Maharashtra state members in the Naxal hierarchy. It’s a continuous process,a battle we will keep fighting,” he said. “I want to believe that at least somewhere I could change the reaction of the force in such areas and get them to be more active.”

The outgoing chief also felt coastal security had improved noticeably. “Considerable progress has been done. The department has started making direct recruitments and soon the contract system of hiring personnel for patrolling will be phased out,” he said. “We have also got the state government supporting us,with the Marine Training Academy expected to come up in Raigad. The only aspect left is environmental clearance which will be coming soon.”

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