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DGP promises manpower boost

Ranchi, Jan. 3: Director-general of police (DGP) G.S. Rath today said he would concentrate on “capacity building” in the New Year, promising to add teeth to the security forces to take on Maoists and criminals.

Rath told The Telegraph that Jharkhand police was facing acute manpower shortage, roughly around 16,000, in various categories right from constable to IPS officers. “We will see that the vacancies are filled up and they are properly trained this year,” he added.

The vacancies include 35 IPS officers, 10,000-odd in constabulary, 4,000 assistant sub-inspector and around 2,000 in sub-inspector and deputy superintendent of police categories. “We are due to conduct interviews to appoint over 300 sub-inspectors from January 9,” he added.

The DGP conceded that they were yet to raise the sixth battalion of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB). “We have so far raised five IRB battalions, three of them are functional. One of the remaining two has completed training while the fifth will end its classes at the police training college in Hazaribagh by the end of this month,” Rath said.

On the traffic chaos in the capital, the DGP pointed out that the traffic police lacked a separate cadre, adding that the SP spared forces from the district constabulary on road. “So, we will see that the traffic police are reorganised and adequately manned this year.”

Ranchi has 212 traffic constables against the required strength of over 500.

“We are also going to put in place a system under which the policemen posted in the traffic department are deployed for a minimum of five years so that the successive SPs do not disturb them. We will select the educated from among the personnel for traffic police and will impart them special training to deal with the situation in the capital,” he said.

The police, the DGP said, were not empowered to cancel or confiscate licences of traffic offenders. “The police are imposing fines following a high court directive. With the burgeoning population and increasing number of vehicles, we need a police commissionary system, but for that the state government has to take a call,” he maintained.

Rath said that it would be premature to say that Ajsu leader Lal Guddu Nath Shahdeo had planned an attack on chief minister Arjun Munda, who had set out on a road yatra to Palamau on December 7. Shahdeo was held in Lohardaga on the same day on charges of conspiring to target Munda.

“The case is sub judice and under investigation, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on it,” the DGP said.

He added: “The chief minister faces threats from Maoists, but it is difficult to say that he (Shahdeo) along with the rebels had planned an attack. We had made foolproof security arrangements for the chief minister’s visit.” Rath conceded that Shahdeo had criminal antecedents.

Lohardaga SP Jitendra Kumar Singh, in his report, is said to have pointed out that had Shahdeo not been held, there would have been an attack on Munda’s motorcade. Singh refused comment.

The DGP said that a plan on bolstering security arrangements for VIPs would include security to police personnel, as Maoists targeted them to loot arms.

Rath opined that different people with vested interests, including Maoists, came together to eliminate Sister Valsa John in Pakur. “A hardworking woman, she only wanted local residents to reap all benefits. This angered her former associates too,” he said.

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