Image makeover: Inspector-general LP Singh addresses the forum in Dhanbad on Friday. (Gautam Dey)
Smiling policemen greeting civilians with a namaskar and a glass of water is a rare sight at any thana of Jharkhand. But not in today’s Dhanbad though.
In a major image makeover for the men in uniform, the personnel at all 52 Dhanbad police stations have started extending warm welcome to visitors since the past week, the behavioural change being prompted by a strict directive from Coal Belt inspector-general (IG) Lakshman Prasad Singh.
The top officer, who is on a mission to make the police force of the region people-friendly, held a meeting with people’s representatives, local politicians and district officials on Thursday evening, where he declared that the policemen have been told to be courteous and cooperative while dealing with complainants at thanas.
As a part of the initiative, constables have been asked to not only greet people by saying namaskar, but also offer them a seat and a glass of water to help them cool down.
Once the initial formalities are over, the policemen on duty must ask the person the purpose of his or her visit and if there is any compliant to be registered, the process must be completed within the shortest time possible.
“All 52 police stations of Dhanbad have started following the new courtesy code and we will ensure that the order is followed strictly. The basic objective behind this step is to improve police-public relationship. Unless policemen at thanas behave well with the civilians, the latter will not feel free to pour out their grievances,” said Singh, who had graced the meeting at Moonidih Officers’ Club as the chief guest.
Dhanbad SP Hemant Toppo, DSP (law and order) Amit Kumar, Dhanbad BDO Manoj Kumar and district board member Punam Devi, who represented the public, were also present along with others.
DSP (law and order) Amit Kumar added that the officers-in-charge have been instructed to receive each call with the greeting “Namaskar, Dhanbad police station mein apka swagat hain”.
A host of issues, including the practical difficulties faced by people during visits to police stations, was discussed at the meeting. Singh, after lending a patient ear to all gripes, promised to extend support to the common people.
He further informed that with an aim to ensure better policing, they have decided to extend the tiger mobile service beyond Dhanbad and Bokaro to the remaining five districts of Coal Belt — Giridih, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Chatra and Ramgarh.
The tiger mobile force — police patrol teams on bikes — were introduced in Dhanbad more than two years ago when Singh was deputy inspector-general of Bokaro. Around 160 policemen each have been deputed in both Dhanbad and Bokaro to conduct intensive patrolling.
“The tiger mobile concept has been a huge hit. We can provide immediate relief to people in an emergency as jawans on bikes can reach the site of an accident/incident within the shortest time possible,” Singh added.