Chandigarh, November 4
The Captain Amarinder Singh led government has ordered immediate steps to fill the backlog of vacancies in Punjab Police, including the prisons, and has also decided to separate the investigation duties of the police from their law and order function in order to further strengthen policing in the state and ensure proper probe in heinous cases of crime.The decisions constitute a part of the series of reforms initiated by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to infuse new energy in the police force and improve the law and order situation in the state, according to an official spokesperson. The Chief Minister has issued categorical instructions to the Home Department to start the recruitment process on urgent basis and also to take up the matter of separation of duties on priority and complete the process by November 30.With no recruitment having taken place in the Prisons department for a long time, the Chief Minister, who is also the state home minister, has now put filling of vacancies in jails on the top of the agenda for his department. He has ordered recruitment of 1200 jail staff members in a bid to further tighten the noose around the criminals and gangsters languishing in jails, amid reports that some of them were continuing to operate from within the confines of the prisons.Captain Amarinder, said the spokesperson, had also approved recruitment of 2000 police constables in the Punjab Police in the current year, followed by an equal number to be recruited every year, for the next four years. He has, in addition, ordered appointment of constables and sub-inspectors in the intelligence wing to ensure that the department is fully geared to meet the new challenges posed by radicals and criminal gangs in the state.
The Chief Minister, chairing a law and order meeting of top police officials two days back, stressed the need to keep the police force of the sensitive border state always up to date in terms of manpower and equipment. The absence of a proper policy to induct personnel in the police ranks on a regular basis had, over the years, adversely impacted the effectiveness of the police forces, he was told at the meeting.The Chief Minister has also directed immediate steps to complete the formalities and process, by November 30, 2017, for the separation of Investigation and Law & Order duties, along with the creation of separate cadres. Under the new system, separate Investigation Units (IUs) and Pairvi Units (PUs) have been envisaged up to the level of Police Stations. While the IUs would be solely dedicated to serious and heinous crimes to ensure that the investigation of such cases is completed in a time-bound manner, the Pairvi Units will ensure proper presentation and contesting of criminal cases before the trial courts.
The move is prompted by the need to keep the function of Investigation separate from Law & Order duties so that investigation of heinous crimes, in particular, does not get hindered due any urgency in law and order duties. The move will also enable smooth collection of credible evidence by providing the IO with professional and high-level expertise in the same. It has been decided that the IUs will be properly monitored to ascertain if the investigation in a particular case is being carried out in a proper manner or not. The separation of the two functions will also help in ensuring high conviction rate by infusing professionalism in investigation, and will also create a better police-public interface, said the spokesperson.At present, the conviction rate in heinous cases such as rape, kidnapping/abduction, robbery and dacoity is in the range of 15-30%, while the overall conviction rate for all crimes, including those under the Excise Act as well as minor cases, stands at around 49.5%. With the creation of a separate IU, this is expected to go up significantly. The separation of duties is also in line with a Supreme Court directive and Punjab & Haryana High Court’s orders in this regard.
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