Policemen on night duty would now think twice before relaxing or catching a wink. Two policemen were suspended for lapses in the past 24 hours.
On Friday night, Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj set off on a surprise inspection dressed in civil clothes.
He landed in Pirbahore area around 1.30am, found sub-inspector Raj Kumar Paswan was not on patrol or holding checks, and suspended him on the spot.
SSP Maharaaj then entered the Pirbahore police station premises and found another police officer, identified as Shyam Kishore Yadav, dosing off. He, too, was suspended with immediate effect for his attitude towards duty.
All police station house officers (SHO) in Patna have been told to remain alert while on duty, be it late at night or in the early hours, or face the axe.
“The action taken today is a message to the police, namely the SHOs. Even a small negligence will not be pardoned,” SSP Maharaaj told The Telegraph.
Night is the most sensitive hour for the police anywhere as that is when most criminal acts are carried out under cover of darkness.
Most criminals are known to carry out recces during the daytime for thefts and dacoities they plan and carry out later in the dark.
Despite instructions to the police to be alert at night, patrol different areas properly, be on their feet and constantly monitor wireless messages, there have been complaints about violations in the recent past.
As a result, surprise inspections at night will go on for now.
Senior police officers can visit police stations anytime to inspect if the policemen are carrying out their work, as also to check the files.
Even patrolling teams would come under the lens of higher-ups in the police force thanks to technological advances.
Police vehicles now have GPS tracking facility and their exact location at any time of the day can be tracked at the police control room.
Policemen admit it pays to stay alert at night.
According to a police officer: “In September last year, patrolling policemen spotted an autorickshaw headed for Patna from Fatuha late at night. When they tried to stop it for routine check, the men in the vehicle fled without stopping.
“The policemen took down the vehicle’s police code and caught the men. It turned out the men had committed a murder and were returning after disposing the body.”