| Darbhanga zone IG Arvind Pandey. Pictures by Mohan Mahato
Inspector-general of police (Darbhanga zone) Arvind Pandey has taken inspiration from Mughal emperor Jehangir to deliver the goods to the people.
Pandey has installed a calling bell at his residence on Republic Day that residents can ring for a redress of grievances. He has directed the senior police officers in the zone to follow his example and install similar bells so that they are available to the people round the clock.
He told The Telegraph: “I took a leaf out of history in putting in place the system of installing calling bells at police officers’ residences for the people in need. Mughal emperor Jehangir used to listen to the people’s grievances at his palace — people had to pull a chain outside the castle. I was very impressed with the system. We are calling the bells installed here ‘Jehangiri ghanti (bell)’, but these are just calling bells and not like the ones used in Jehangir’s time.”
Jehangir, the son of Akbar, had set up a chain with 60 bells outside his castle in Agra. Anyone in trouble or need could pull the chain and the emperor used to listen to the person.
Senior police officers in the state are usually available to the common people at the janata durbar held once a week. They do not attend to general complainants at other times than the durbars, but the calling bells are set to change that.
Pandey said: “There is a need to abolish the administrative feudalism in the police system. We spare time for the aggrieved people only once a week. If a person misses out on seeing a senior officer on the scheduled day, he/she cannot do so rest of the week. With these calling bells, the people can easily approach senior police officers at their residences any time in the day. Police officers are security service providers and they must see the people whenever they need help.”
This is not the first time Pandey has introduced calling bells. When he was posted in Muzaffarpur as the deputy inspector-general in 2008, he had put in place a similar system.
In the Darbhanga police zone comprising 10 districts, there are three posts of deputy inspector-general (Darbhanga, Saharsa and Purnea) and 10 posts of superintendent of police. The calling bells would be installed at the residences of all the senior officers in the zone.
G.S. Rai, a faculty member at LN Mithila University, Darbhanga, said: “The senior police officers are hardly available to the public at their respective residences. The common man, unsatisfied with the responses of the personnel at the local police stations or at the sub-divisional level, can do little. Now, in case of emergencies, they can easily approach a senior officer.”