Nagpur: The Commissioner of Police (Nagpur) and the soon to be Additional General of Police (Law and Order) Maharashtra Sharda Prasad Yadav aka SP Yadav had a tête–à–tête with Nagpur Today before he took charge of the new posting.
A top cop who was skilled in men-management and knew how to run the police department efficiently said that his tenure in this city was for 17 months. This IPS officer having a unique persona drew love and respect from all those who worked under him. S P Yadav claimed that when he took over the role of Commissioner of Police he had two challenges. One was that the citizens had lost faith on the police. We can easily assume that the causative factor was the police.
The major role was police personnel who caused the public at large to loose faith on the police officials. He went on to add that hardly three or four people used to come to his office to lodge a complaint. When asked why they did not choose to lodge a complaint with the police station, they used to say that they have lodged many complaints but to no avail since the person against whom the complaint is lodged is a big goon and may harm us if he comes to know that we have lodged a complaint with the police. The behavior of the police too was not conducive.
People started seeking solutions through political leaders or through muscle men for instant justice. Gangsters started creeping up. Yet police played a passive role and deferred prevention of crime.
In his tenure, S P Yadav claimed that he has successfully ensured that the citizens come boldly to lodge a complaint, police to become responsive and sensitive to the problems of the citizens. An upheaval was undertaken of the image and the working pattern of the cops in the police station.
From January, they started taking the goons head-on. It did take time and was not easy. Initially there was a lot of resistance to changes, but slowly the pro-active changes were accepted and implemented. However, public support is also needed. It was a big challenge which he accepted and faced the challenge boldly and ensured that during his tenure the city finally heaved a sigh of relief. He ensured that the criminals are behind bars and the citizens feel safe and secure in his watch.
Among the many firsts that Nagpur police has to its credit, majority of them have been initiated and employed by him. A very strict and a no-nonsense IPS officer told Nagpur Today that it took him two months to get to know the city, the way the city police have functioned so far etc. He claimed that he also lost two-months in his personal medical condition. After that he knew what he had to do to control the crime in the city. He held a meeting with the IPS officers holding the position of Deputy Commissioners of Police of different zones. He also had a meeting with all the In-Charge Police Inspectors of different Police Stations.
Efficient means communications in place
We also opened the door by starting the 10 defunct Land-line numbers “100” of Police help Line. These 10 lines were converted into operational numbers. The old EPBAX system which was non-functional or defective was replaced and a new very modern computer-aided of digital telephone lines were made operational.
Not a single complaint goes unheeded. No one can say that the complaint was not registered. Voice recorder system is made active and action taken is recorded. Street crimes are taken cognizance by senior police officials like DCP, PI etc. Instant action was initiated in a recent case of kidnapping and within 5 hours, the accused were nabbed. We have regained the faith of the people. All the cops were provided with Smart phones and Tabs which helped them to communicate with text messages.
Positive effect of dossiers
He directed the cops to start the practice of making dossiers of all the criminals big or small, past and present. This kept the Detective Branch (DB Squad) of every police station on toes. Since the dossiers had to have all the details of the accused. This helped the cops to gather all the data of all the criminals in their jurisdiction, their present occupation, their family members, their affairs, their extra-marital affairs, their style of committing offenses, their accomplices etc.
Whenever, any offense occurs, the cops match the modus operandi with the details in the dossiers and knew who could have committed this offence. When they apprehended the accused too, they used to enter the details in the dossiers. This helped the cops to make these case files of the offender and place him in the list of habitual offenders and enhance the punishments. This dossier also helped in getting many known offenders punished under Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA). He then gave the cops directives to follow a concept, ‘Pehle Action Phir Section”. (Meaning, they have to initiate the action of detection, apprehension of the offenders and interrogation. This will be followed by slapping relevant sections). According to the former Top Cop, there is a big book of IPC, and every criminal is sure to fall into one or more sections of Indian Penal Code. This too yielded its desired results. Many accused were picked up and after thorough questioning many buckled under pressure and confessed to their crimes. Seeking their suggestions and help in better policing. All the vehicles are fitted with GPRS system which relays their exact location and reach the crime spot within minutes. The dispatcher dispatches the nearest vehicle. The response time has come to 5 minutes.
The improvement of police-public inter-personal relationship
Former CP S P Yadav made all efforts to improve the inter-personal relationship of the masses and the police department. He made all efforts to ensure that every citizen in the city can feel free to walk into a police station and lodge a complaint which was not very favorable earlier. He incorporated the concept of Police Mitras and personally selected them and involved them in the police work. These Police Mitras helped solve many criminal cases. They also helped in patrolling the streets and in collecting information on various criminal antecedents.
MCOCA had worked as an effective deterrent
S P Yadav claimed that slapping Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) on many criminals and offenders ensured that the big-time criminals and offenders got locked up in Central Prison. This in-turn demoralized the small time offenders and they fled the city or stopped their criminal activities.
MCOCA was only one action. Gangsters who had a perception that they cannot be touched by the police in spite of serious offences like murder, rape, extortion, etc registered against them. These goons felt that they immunity of all legal action. This belief that they had generated in the minds of people started dissipating, when they started taking action against these goons. The reputation and the honour was reclaimed and public started realizing that no one in immune to legal action and that severe action too is initiated against the goons.
Made police presence on social media
It was only because of his initiative that all the police stations made whatsapp group of senior citizens, hoteliers, youth etc. The introduction of whatsapp groups in the police department helped cops to deal with the crime situation, made them smarter, effective especially in implementation of MCOCA, up-gradation and revamping of various police stations, and not the least, bringing the alarming crime rate at remarkably low level. He also encouraged In-charge Police Inspectors of all police stations to open an account on facebook, twitter etc.
Former CP lauds grass-root level police personnel
S P Yadav claimed that it is the constables, head-constables who worked hard in bringing the crime under control. He claimed that it was the efficient constables and head-constables who initiated good network of informants, it was they who did the ground work and are truly praiseworthy. S P Yadav also claimed that he had a good and efficient support from all the IPS officers, Police Inspectors and his staff which ensured the significant reduction in crime rate in the city.
As told to Ravikant Kamble and Samuel Gunasekharan