Ranchi, Feb. 24: The abduction and murder of a capital industrialist fresh in memory, governor Syed Ahmed today read the riot act to the bureaucratic and police top brass, seeking foolproof law and order measures and warning of disciplinary action in case of failure to do the same.
Ahmed, who held a meeting with his principal secretary N.N. Sinha, state chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, home secretary J.B. Tubid and DGP G.S. Rath, is learnt to have taken strong exception of the sprinting crime graph — heightened Maoist activities being a significant contributor.
Incidentally, the governor’s huddle comes close on the heels of a high alert issued by the Union home ministry in the aftermath of the Hyderabad blasts.
Jharkhand’s recent past has been chequered too.
On February 21, industrialist Gyan Chand Jain’s decomposed body was found buried in a forest, on the outskirts of Ranchi, seven days after he went missing.
On February 22, Left-wing extremists blew up a health centre in Latehar.
Last night, PLFI rebels torched a house and a tractor once again in Latehar’s Manika area. Three shops were also gutted in Namdag village in the same district.
Chief secretary Choudhary confirmed that the focus of the meeting was law and order, but said: “I cannot divulge directives of the governor issued in the closed-door meeting.”
DGP Rath too refused to comment, while principal secretary Sinha said he was preoccupied.
Highly placed sources, however, revealed that the chief secretary held another meeting with senior officials to discuss how to execute the governor’s latest directives. They hinted that “transfers and suspension” orders against errant officers might be in the offing.
Sources said Ahmed wanted Jharkhand’s citizens to feel safe and had given instructions to that effect.
“If people are safe, development projects will get underway. The governor wants action plans to be executed in accordance with observations made at Union cabinet secretary A.K. Seth’s last meeting with senior officials in Ranchi,” a source said.
At the said meeting, it was broached that superintendents of police be given a free hand in handling law and order in their respective districts and they be made accountable for lapses, if any.
The issue was again brought up at today’s meeting, but the governor stumped the police brass by asking what had been done to straighten blundering SPs.