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Special Branch of Kolkata police told to return arms daily after duty

At least 11 police personnel had been arrested in Kolkata in the last five months for various alleged criminal activities

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 09.11.22, 06:29 AM
Representational file image

Representational file image

Police personnel posted in the Special Branch of Kolkata police have to mandatorily deposit their official arms in the special branch armoury or at “any nearby police station” at the end of their duty every day, an order reminds the cops.

The order, issued by the office of the joint commissioner (intelligence) on Monday, said the “monitoring” of issuance and deposition of arms and ammunition in the special branch was not being done properly.


Sources in the police said at least 20 cases of violations had been detected in the special branch.

“According to the rule, all cops who are issued arms and ammunition are to deposit them in the armoury once they are off duty. On a number of occasions, police personnel in the special branch were found violating the rule,” said a senior officer.

Monday’s order came at a time several special branch constables have been arrested in cases of robbery, extortion, kidnapping and assault.

The Telegraph had on Sunday reported that at least 11 police personnel had been arrested in Kolkata in the last five months for various alleged criminal activities.

Of the 11, six were from the special branch. The six were rounded up in three cases of kidnapping, extortion and cheating.

This newspaper sent a text message to joint commissioner (intelligence) Kalyan Mukherjee, asking him about the order. He replied: “Sorry. We are not in a position to comment on any order meant for internal consumption.”

Another officer at Lalbazar who was not willing to be named said this was an “internal matter” of the department.

An officer not attached to the special branch said the alleged unauthorised possession of arms could become a cause of concern given the recent spate of criminal activities involving police personnel.

“The unauthorised possession of arms by policemen in plainclothes could lead to a misplaced sense of power and immunity from the law,” said the officer, who was earlier posted in the special branch for several years.

Monday’s order instructs the special branch armoury to maintain a register with the details of the time of issuance and deposition of arms and ammunition.

The order says: “All the SB (special branch) police personnel to whom any arms and ammunition have been issued must deposit the same in time at SB-Armoury or at any nearby police station after completion of their respective duties.”

The order also says that if any special branch cop deposits arms and ammunition at a police station, she or he must communicate to the officer in charge of the special branch armoury the general diary number, date and time of the handover.

The data will be entered in the armoury register maintained at the special branch office, sources said.

Two officers in the special branch who spoke on the condition of anonymity said most of the police personnel who allegedly flouted the rule were posted as personal security officers (PSOs).

PSOs are attached to government officials, ministers and others who are specially protected by the state.

“It has been noticed that several PSOs carry their arms even when they are off duty. That is extremely alarming and could lead to unauthorised use of arms and ammunition,” one of the two officers said.

The other officer said: “It has been found on several occasions that if a PSO travels with the person he is protecting to another district or state, the officer keeps the arms till his return to the city.”

“Ideally, the PSO should deposit the arms every day as no one is allowed to carry arms back home when he is off duty. To avoid such violations, now they will have to mandatorily deposit arms in the special branch armoury or a police station close to the place the officer is staying,” he said.

Last updated on 09.11.22, 06:29 AM

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