GUWAHATI, May 4 � Crime Branch, an indispensable part of specialised policing in crime-infested areas, is turning into a farce in Assam amid a sharp rise in criminal activities.
Unlike other States where specialised top-ranked officials are attached with the branch, ironically in Guwahati, it is running with only a single police officer.
Additional Superintendant of Police Amitabh Sinha is the only one attached with the Crime Branch ever since the specialised wing was introduced around six months back.
Although, the capital city continues to be a hot-bed of criminal activities, the specialised branch is playing a second fiddle to investigators dealing with day-to-day policing including VIP duty.
If sources are to be believed, chances of attaching specially-trained police officers to the Crime Branch in the near future, too, appear bleak. Further, no logistic support has been given to the branch as yet.
�A lot of promises were made but unfortunately we have not heard of any development taking place as far as forming a full-fledged branch is concerned. ASP Amitabh Sinha is being involved by the City Police in carrying out investigation registered at the thana-level,� the sources claimed.
�In places like Maharashtra and Delhi, Crime Branch is headed by an officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and assisted by Deputy Commissioner of Police, besides a number of specialised subordinates, to take up investigation of serious cases. Contrary to that, the Crime Branch here has become a laughing stock,� commented a senior Assam Police official, while ruing the lacklustre attitude of the Home department.
�Nowhere in India will you find such a situation. First, if it is not possible to form a special squad, the idea of attaching Crime Branch should have been kept under cover. How can a branch operate with a single officer?� sources in the police department questioned.
The Crime Branch is ideally responsible for coordinating with other State police and Central agencies in dealing with serious and sensational crimes on a priority basis.