Murari Lal Meena after taking charge in Bokaro on Wednesday. (Pankaj Singh)
A no-nonsense IPS officer of the 1993 batch, new inspector-general (IG) of North Chotanagpur Murari Lal Meena (44) means business.
He is well aware of the pressures of the post, with as many as seven Naxalite-hit districts — Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Giridih, Chatra and Ramgarh — under his jurisdiction.
Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph in Bokaro on Wednesday, the top cop did not hesitate to talk tough.
“Professional policing with fixed priorities and targets is the need of the hour to counter rebel menace, check economic crime and provide better law and order. These are on my priority list now,” he said.
Warming up, he said Jharkhand police had to rely mostly on paramilitary forces such as CRPF to fight rebels.
“The state police needs training and sophisticated arms. Look at our counterparts in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. They learnt the tricks from paramilitary forces and tackled problems of respective states on their own. Jharkhand police has a long way to go,” he said. His prescription? “I’ll fix result-oriented responsibilities for the force to serve people,” he said.
It is evident that Meena’s passions are two — professionalism and people-friendliness — which he believes are a must in policing.
“We don the uniform to protect people. We will succeed in our jobs if we make people our allies. The attitude of cops needs to change,” he said.
Meena was last the IG, CID special branch, in Ranchi. He came here on Wednesday and was given guard of honour at Bokaro Nivas. He also met senior officers like DIG Laxman Singh, Bokaro SP Kuldip Dwivedi at his Sector V office.
On his strategies to check economic crime and rebel activities, Meena said he cut his teeth in Dhanbad and Giridih as superintendent of police where he had to fight coal and scrap iron smugglers. “Better not reveal too much of my game plan at this stage,” he said, smiling.
He also had a request for the media. “As watchdogs of society, you can help the police be transparent. But constructive criticism and not sensationalism, is ultimately helpful,” was his parting shot.