In a significant police reforms measure, the Yogi Adityanath government on Monday introduced the police commissionerate system in Uttar Pradesh by posting two additional director general (ADG) of police rank officials as the first police commissioners of Lucknow and Noida.
The two towns have been selected on a pilot basis, since they are respectively the political and financial capital of UP. Other important cities are also likely to be taken up in due course depending upon its success in Lucknow and Noida.
Meanwhile, the state government has posted Sujit Pandey and Alok Kumar as the maiden police commissioners of Lucknow and Noida, respectively.
The proposal had been pending for long owing to the stiff opposition by the powerful Indian Administrative Service (IAS) lobby, since it curtains the powers of the district magistrate relating to the law and order and other administrative roles. A total of 15 functions, which were earlier administered by the district magistrate office, will now be taken care of by the police commissionerate.
The proposal was given nod at the state cabinet meeting here chaired by chief minister Adityanath, who later told newspersons that the proposal was hanging fire for the past 50 years due to the lack of “political will” by earlier regimes.
Under the new system, Lucknow city comprising 40 police stations will come under the police commissioner, who would be supported by two joint commissioners of the inspector general (IG) rank officials, with each looking after the law and order, and crime functions respectively. The remaining 5 police stations in the suburbs/rural areas would continue to have the old policing system.
Besides, nine superintendent of police (SP) rank officials would be deputed as deputy commissioners in the Lucknow Police commissionerate. A women SP rank official supported by another woman additional SP rank official would be mandated to follow up cases related to women safety, harassment etc and ensure proper investigation and prosecution.
Another wing comprising an SP and an additional SP rank official will be formed for traffic duties in the city.
Replying to a question, Adityanath said the Police Act already provided for introducing the police commissionerate systems in towns having population of more than a million.
According to the 2011 Census, Lucknow city had a population of 2.9 million, which has today burgeoned to nearly 4 million. Likewise, Noida’s corresponding figures are 1.6 million and 2.5 million respectively. The Noida/Greater Noida police commissionerate will also follow the same hierarchy as Lucknow.
“There is greater team work under the police commissionerate system as police gets magisterial powers too. The 15 new powers being delegated to the respective police commissioner would be delegated to his subordinates at their discretion,” the CM underlined.
The CM stressed the state government was committed to ensuring the safety and security of the 230 million people and it would not drag its feet in taking more actions, which further fortified the law and order machinery.
Meanwhile, UP Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh told a news channel that the new commissionerate system will evolve according to the specific needs of the state and would not copy similar models being followed in other states and metropolitan cities.
He observed the police commissionerate system was functioning in all the states expect for the Hindi belt regions of UP, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand.