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Police Commissioner to take oath today

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Dec 31 � Improving police-public ties will be one of the priorities of the city police force in the days to come, while the present law and order situation including the activities of the militants will pose another major challenge, said Jyotirmoy Chakravarty, who will take over as the first Guwahati City Police Commissioner tomorrow.

Talking to The Assam Tribune on the eve of taking over charge as City Police Commissioner, Chakravarty said that restoring the faith of all sections of people in the police would be one of his main goals. The police force must rise to the occasion to fulfil the expectations of all sections of people and �we must give proper response to the problems of the people.� The police force should try to give the service that the people deserve and all should feel free to visit the police stations. There is need for changing the attitude of all rank and file of all the police personnel, he added.

On the challenges before the police force, Chakravarty said that the present situation in the State including the activities of the insurgents and jihadi elements would continue to pose challenge for some time, particularly with the Republic Day approaching and the police would not be able to lower their guard. Protecting the life and property of the people would be a priority, while, because of presence of VIPs, Guwahati city is always more vulnerable.

Chakravarty had worked in the Special Protection Force (SPG) for seven years and replying to a question on whether that would help him to function as City Police Commissioner, he said that during his time in the SPG, he had experience of dealing with several security-related issues. He pointed out that the visits to different countries as a member of the SPG were also beneficial as "we had a chance of dealing with police forces of different countries and learnt about their style of functioning. We may be able to put into use some such methods in the city."

On the low rate of conviction in the cases dealt with by the Assam Police, Chakravarty expressed the view that there is need for proper research on the issue. It is important that the criminals get punishment and there is need for improving the conviction rate. But the question is whether there are flaws in the process of investigation of the cases or the flaws are elsewhere. To find out the reasons, there should be a proper research.

Replying to a question on problems faced by police in crowd control in Guwahati city, particularly in agitations by some groups or organizations, Chakravarty revealed that he did a study on the issue and submitted a report. He admitted that such situations should be dealt with by using non-lethal weapons as far as possible. Some policemen have already been trained up in this regard. He also admitted that giving magisterial powers to the police might also help as there were occasions when delay in taking decisions aggravated the situation. He admitted that there were times when police had to wait for magistrates to arrive before taking any action. Now the situation will change, but the police officers on the ground would have to be careful in exercising their powers.

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