Police brass and revenue union hail HC's ruling
State police brass hailed the landmark ruling of the High Court on ending revenue police system, saying that it would help them establish regular police stations on a large scale to check crimes with the help of the trained, tech-savvy police personnel. The revenue police officers also lauded the court’s ruling, saying that it is proving extremely difficult for them to double as revenue collectors and police in the revenue areas.
State Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Ashok Kumar said that as a section of the criminals is using technology to commit crimes in the revenue areas it is proving tough for revenue police to curb such crimes with the required efficiency. “This is why we have been bringing some revenue areas under the jurisdiction of regular police. Besides, some new police stations have been recently set up in the state. However, this is not adequate as regular police personnel are required to take on the complex types of crimes happening now in the hills,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pithoragarh Pravati Patwari/Revenue Police Employee Federation president Gopal Chandra Joshi welcomed the High Court’s decision of replacing revenue police with regular police. He said that despite repeated demands of equipping the revenue police with weapons and providing them with training for the improvement in the quality of the investigation, nothing significant has come up. “Besides, we have been demanding equal pay for equal work to the patwaris, a demand which is being ignored by the successive state governments. Things are highly discriminatory. While a Patwari gets grade pay of Rs 2800 a sub-inspector of police department gets a grade pay of `4600 at the initial level,” he said.
He further said that more than half of the posts in revenue police are lying vacant. “We are facing manpower crunch. We are ill- equipped to crack cyber crimes and conduct rescue and relief operations in case of road accidents now being reported nearly daily. When road accidents, landslides and other natural disasters happen we are left with no other option but to inform the regular police or the administration,” he added.
NC Pandey, a patwari, said that they are facing difficulties to crack cases. “With the use of technology in crimes, we are seeking support from the regular police. We are not being given allowances, vehicles and uniform by the government for completing the policing works,” he said. .
Observers say that the revenue policing was fine in the old days when the villages had very little connectivity with towns. “Now it has no relevance. The banks, schools, hospitals, hotels are operating in the rural areas. Villages are connected by the roads and there has been a spike in criminal activities that usually goes unreported,” says one of them.
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