Cops on night vigil across Salt Lake were caught napping by Bidhannagar police commissioner Rajeev Kumar during a surprise check to find out whether lax security was responsible for a recent spurt in theft.
Sources in the police department said commissioner Kumar found many officers asleep in the roadside assistance booths on Wednesday night. Patrol teams were found chatting inside police stations and several entry points and exits from the township did not have any police presence.
“The commissioner was extremely annoyed with the state of policing at night and called up a senior officer of one of the police stations around 2am to rebuke him for his negligence of areas under his jurisdiction,” an insider in the Bidhannagar commissionerate said.
Kumar did not take calls from Metro throughout Thursday.
Senior officials confirmed the surprise check but declined to give details. “We toured several areas and suggested some immediate changes,” Arnab Ghosh, deputy commissioner of the detective department, said.
Kumar’s drive came after back-to-back burglaries in AE, BE and CF blocks of the township during the previous two nights.
A source said commissioner Kumar and some other senior officers set off from the commissionerate in two cars around 11.30pm but not even the officers-in-charge of various police stations knew about it. “An assistant sub-inspector and a constable supposed to be on duty at a police booth near Beleghata were among the first to be caught taking a snooze. The duo got the shock of their lives and had little to say in their defence.”
Kumar and his team toured all the entry points and exits along with the footbridges. None of these places was manned.
“The commissioner next entered a police station and found officers who should have been on the road chatting. He was so angry that he stormed out,” the source said.
Kumar summoned the officers-in-charge of all police stations under the commissionerate on Thursday to read them the riot act.
“There will be more cops on the night shift from now on. The number of patrol vehicles will be increased, too. We have asked officers of all police stations to ensure better vigil on the entry and exit points, particularly the footbridges across the Kestopur canal,” deputy commissioner Ghosh said.