Ranchi, Aug. 5: Chief minister Hemant Soren today issued a 10-day deadline to the state’s security establishment for improving the law and order situation in Jharkhand, the unprecedented directive coming amidst a sudden spurt in crime in Ranchi over the last two months.
At a review meeting at Project Building, the new chief minister was apparently aghast to know that that the oldest criminal case pending investigation dated back to 2005, a statistic, he said, indicated the poor state of policing in Jharkhand.
“The law and order of the state capital reflects the situation of the entire state. You should not cry foul about dearth of resources of any kind, be it manpower or weapons. I want results and things should improve,” the chief minister told senior police officers.
Later, he told The Telegraph that he had given the officers a deadline. “I have given directions to the top bras of the police and administration to ensure that the law and order situation improves in a week or by a maximum of 10-days,” he said.
Hemant asked the officials to ensure better intelligence gathering to pre-empt crimes and set up a special cell where the common man could register complaints 24x7.
He also directed senior officials to take stern action against corrupt policemen, pointing out how a proprietor of a dubious realty firm managed to get as many as five arms licenses while regular residents struggled for years to get one.
Hemant also issued a directive to improve night patrolling. “Government faces the people’s wrath due to police inaction and their lackadaisical attitude. If police do not mend their ways, the government will act against erring officials,” he said.
Among those who attended today’s review meeting were chief secretary R.S. Sharma, chief minister’s principal secretary Sukhdev Singh, home secretary N.N. Pandey, DGP Rajeev Kumar, additional directors general of police Rezi Dungdung and S.N. Pradhan, South Chotanagpur commissioner Vandana Dadel, Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh and deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey.
The JMM-led government has been the target of the Opposition over the deteriorating law and order situation ever since it was sworn in on July 13. Today, too, Opposition leader Arjun Munda made it a point to drive home the point.
Earlier in the day, the former chief minister visited businessman Arvinder Singh Khurana’s Panchwati Colony residence that had been burgled late on Saturday night, with criminals decamping with cash and valuables totalling Rs 18.50 lakh.
In the last two months, as many as 32 cases of murder, 67 cases of loot, six dacoities and 158 cases of theft have been reported from Ranchi alone.
This has prompted Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FJCCI) to renew its demand for arms licences for the business community.
“We are concerned about the deteriorating law and order situation in the state capital and other places. It seems goons and thieves are ruling the roost. Police have been unable to do anything to stop crime,” FJCCI spokesperson Suresh Chandra Agrawal told The Telegraph.