The vigilance department is also facing a “perception” problem, with the CBI seemingly enjoying more trust and credibility among the public.
The CBI seems to be enjoying more success than the Chandigarh vigilance department in dealing with corruption. And the vigilance folks are not happy about it. Despite UT administrator V.P. Singh Badnore declaring zero tolerance to corruption in the police ranks, the vigilance department has scored a naught even as the CBI has netted three cops for bribery this year. Meanwhile, last 25 complaints were filed with the vigilance department and half of these are still under investigation.
The slow pace of probe in cases flagged by the vigilance department is eroding its credibility even as vigilance officials blame trust deficit, manpower shortage and procedural delays for their lack of success. The department is also facing a “perception” problem, with the CBI seemingly enjoying more trust and credibility among the public.
According to sources, the vigilance officials are keen to change the situation and have demanded simplification of procedures as also augmentation of personnel. The vigilance department is also short of manpower. As of now, the sanctioned strength is of 11 persons, including a DSP, one inspector and two sub-inspectors. The department has been without an inspector since September. A proposal to increase the strength is pending with the MHA.
Fixed tenure to retiring cops?
The Centre has moved the Supreme Court against a 2006 order, which states have been using to appoint their favoured cops as directors-general of police. Apparently, some states are appointing officers who are on the verge of retiring, giving them a fixed tenure of two years. The immediate “provocation”, sources say, was a panel suggested by the Andhra Pradesh government recommending seven DGP-rank officers. Three of these top cops were near retirement. Last month the state appointed N. Sambasiva Rao, a 1984-batch IPS officer, who was slated to retire this month, but now Mr Rao is likely to continue in the post until the 2019 general elections.
There are instances from many other states “misusing” the SC’s order. In 2016, the West Bengal government had thus allowed IPS officer S.K. Purkayastha to stay in office for two years although he was meant to retire in December that year.
Now the home ministry is apparently trying to reframe guidelines to ensure that only those cops who have more than two years to retire to be eligible for appointment to the top post in any state. Provided the apex court agrees, of course.
Women cops get wheels in Delhi
They’ll ride, hard, fast and furious. Recently Dilli was rated the worst city in the country for women’s safety, following a sharp spike in reports of violence against women. According to the Delhi police data until November 15, nearly 11,588 crimes against women have been recorded in the capital this year, which is almost double the number of crimes reported in 2012.
As a “street crime containment strategy”, the Delhi police has now set up “Raftaar”, a 600-strong all-women police squad to navigate the capital on motorbikes. The police-women riding in pairs will wield guns, pepper sprays, body cameras, and don state-of-the-art helmets with ear-pieces. While the rider will carry a 9mm pistol, the pillion will be equipped with an AK-47 rifle.
Motorbikes, it is explained, are the only way to access the narrow lanes and bylanes of Delhi where sexual harassment normally happens, while also being able to easily traverse through the traffic. The Raftaar squads will increase visibility on the streets and reassure women, and will also have a faster response time than usual patrol vans.
With public awareness being raised since a fatal gangrape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in December 2012, Dilliwallas hope that the women-only motorcycle squads will help with awareness but also in the evidence gathering process of sensitive, sexual violence cases.