Facing opposition flak over recent incidents of violence in Punjab, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday told commissioners of police and district police chiefs that they will be held responsible for any breach of law and order in their jurisdictions.
The chief minister also asked them to play a frontal role in the war against gangsters by personally conducting operations and interrogations.
In a letter addressed to all CPs and SSPs of the state, Mr Mann said the best leaders lead by example, adding that the Punjab Police has a gallant tradition of professionalism and service to the nation.
“You will be personally held responsible for any breach of law and order in your jurisdiction as you are accountable under law,” the chief minister asserted.
Following some recent incidents of violence, including the killing of a kabaddi player in Jalandhar, four deaths in Gurdaspur and the death of a local Congress leader in Ludhiana, the opposition attacked the AAP-led government in Punjab.
While Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged that there was “complete collapse of law and order”, former chief minister Amarinder Singh said the recent spike in incidents of violence in Punjab was worrisome.
The Shiromani Akali Dal also alleged that the “collapse” of the law and order situation in Punjab after the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had created a feeling of insecurity in the minds of Punjabis.
In his letter, Mr Mann expressed confidence in the state’s police force and said it would rise to the occasion and launch a concerted drive to eradicate the menace of gangsterism.
Referring to a law and order review meeting held on April 5, Mann outlined his government’s topmost focus to maintain law and order, apart from eradication of corruption and implementation of welfare measures for the police force.
He also announced the constitution of an anti-gangster task force in the state.
Mr Mann, however, made it clear that the constitution of the task force would in no way reduce or lessen the responsibility and role of CPs and SSPs heading the police commissionerates and districts as both were responsible for control of crime and maintenance of law and order in their jurisdictions.
While the task force would focus on intelligence-based operations and play a coordinating role, Mr Mann said he expected the CPs and the SSPS to launch a major thrust against gangsters by briefing police officers under them, conducting analysis of crime data, identifying absconding gangsters and carrying out anti-gangster operations.
Meanwhile, the state government posted ADGP, Special Crimes and Economic Offences Wing, Promod Ban as the ADGP of the Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF), AIG, Organised Crime Control Unit, Gurmeet Singh Chauhan as the AIG of the AGTF, and CP, Ludhiana, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar as the DIG of the AGTF. DSP Kharar Bikramjit Singh Brar has been given the additional charge of the DSP of AGTF, said an official statement.
A standing order for the functioning of the AGTF, laying down its role, functions and responsibilities as short-term measures has already been taken.
“Towards punitive measures, the police department has sought immediate analysis of 18/19 murders which have recently taken place. The task of identification and suspension of police officials who have been negligent in handling the investigation of recent murders has been assigned to the AGTF team,” the statement said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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