Responding to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ proposal to reduce the Central Deputation Reserve (CDR) of states and union territories, the office of the Punjab DGP has stated that the CDR of Punjab-cadre IPS officers “should not be disturbed at a time when…internal security is fragile due to repeated attempts of ISI and Punjab terrorists”.
Punjab has a CDR of 37 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, but only 12 from the state are on central deputation at present, according to the DGP’s office. States and UTs a certain number of their IPS officers on central deputations, during which these officers work with central security agencies. Each state has a difference CDR.
Last month, the MHA had written to states and UTs, “It has been noted that most of the state governments are not sparing their officers to serve on central deputation. On going through the data of officers on central deputation throughout the country it is observed that at present only 428 IPS officers are working in central deputation against the authorised strength of 1,075 officers.” This, the correspondence said, translated to 39.81 per cent of central deputation posts. “Resultantly, a large number of CDR posts remain unutilised,” it said, seeking comments on the Centre’s exercise to reduce the existing CDR quota of 1,075 posts to around 500.
It further said, “While the factum of state governments not sparing IPS officers for central deputation is correct, reducing the CDR is certainly not the solution for this problem. Central government should encourage IPS officers from states to join on central deputation by offering incentives, rather than reducing the CDR which amounts to throwing out the bath tub with the baby.”
“In case of Punjab, there is an increasing trend of IPS officers going on central deputations. At present, 12 officers of Punjab cadre are on central deputation. Admittedly, this figure is less than the CDR of 37 for Punjab. However, Punjab fought a war against terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s and was not in a position to spare IPS officers for central deputations then. During the mid 1990s onwards there have been numerous attempts to revive terrorism in the state.
Even then, IPS officers from Punjab are showing interest in going on central deputations and the number of Punjab IPS officers has increased in the recent years,” the MHA stated.
Citing that during the 1980s and early 1990s, “Punjab reeled under a massive upsurge of terrorist activities resulting in the loss of over 22,000 persons, including over 2,000 police personnel and their family members” and that “…as many as 31 bomb blasts occurred in the state during 1995-2002, causing loss of 90 lives and injury to 300 persons”, the comments noted that being a border state, Punjab was “facing cross border terrorism and narcotics smuggling” and “fidayeen attacks and infiltrations have taken place from the 553 km international border with Pakistan”.
Pointing out that attempts were being made to revive terrorism in Punjab, the DGP office stated: “Punjab terrorists have established linkages with the J&K terrorists and given the contiguous border between Punjab and J&K and the fragile security scenario in J&K, the internal security situation in Punjab requires careful handling.”
It also said: “There is a social media campaign for “Sikh Referendum 2020” which would peak next year. The campaign is being launched by elements of Punjabi diaspora based in North America and Europe, with active support from Pakistan-based elements. The sensitive internal security situation in Punjab makes Punjab a special case…it is not appropriate to reduce the CDR for the Indian Police Service.”
The DGP office further stated that there was “better interaction, interface and exchange of information between states and Centres” due to the presence of IPS officers in central police organisations. It also noted that presence of IPS officers in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) improved their operational efficiency.