Punjab CM warns warring senior police officers of dismissal for indiscipline

April 11, 2018 09:46 PM

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered the top brass of the police to put an immediate end to fighting their personal and professional battles in the courts and the media, and threatened to sack any officer found indulging in such acts of gross indiscipline, which were bringing a bad name to the Punjab Police.

Issuing a strict warning to senior police officers, the Chief Minister said, if needed, he would even approach the Union Home Minister to seek the dismissal of any officer found violating the discipline of the force.

Captain Amarinder Singh, who also holds the Home portfolio in the Punjab cabinet, had summoned a closed-door meeting this afternoon of all the top officials of the force.

An official spokesperson disclosed after the meeting that the Chief Minister expressed shock at the recent developments involving senior officers of Punjab Police and sent out a stern warning to the officers that he would not tolerate such indiscipline. Neither the media nor the courts were the proper forums to resolve differences, which needed to be resolved internally, he asserted.

Expressing shock and concern at the way in which the proud legacy of Punjab Police was being destroyed by some officers, the Chief Minister, without naming anyone, said there were various channels and ways to deal with professional problems. Professional matters being taken to the court were unacceptable, he warned, adding that “this has to stop, right now.”

While all officers were welcome to approach him directly to resolve any personal problems, for professional issues there were well-established norms and channels which every officer had to stringently adhere to, said the Chief Minister. “Any senior officer facing a professional issue should first approach the state DGP, followed by the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary, and if he is still not satisfied, he can come to me,” Captain Amarinder Singh said.

The Chief Minister made it clear that every officer in the force was required to accept the leadership of Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora, whom he described as a highly professional officer. The Union Minister had wanted to take Arora to the Centre but he had requested for his retention in the state in view of his expertise and professionalism, said Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister noted that he had never seen such things happening in the Punjab Police, which had brought the state out of many difficult phases, including terrorism, mass killings, targeted killings, religious fundamentalism, farmer unrest, etc.

Pointing out that as an ex-Army man, he had seen from close quarters how discipline is maintained in the forces, the Chief Minister said he had been getting a hollow feeling over the past 48 hours, ever since the issue came to light. What was happening today was not only in extremely bad taste but highly detrimental to the interests of Punjab, he added.

Upholding the traditions of the uniformed forces was of paramount importance, especially in the present times when inimical forces from hostile neighbours were raising their heads, said the Chief Minister.

Captain Amarinder Singh called for serious introspection by the officers for the sake of the force, the state and the country. There are many challenges that still need to be tackled and the police force of Punjab could not afford to slacken, he said, declaring that his government’s thrust on maintaining law and order, ensuring peace and harmony, and the drugs mafia would continue undeterred, notwithstanding the issues that had marred the force’s image in the recent days.

Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh exhorted the officers not to indulge in any act which had the potential of lowering the morale down the rank and file, and damaging the reputation of Punjab Police, which had traditionally been identified with courage, grit and discipline.

DGP Arora said the entire business was particularly awkward for him personally, but assured the officers that he will not let them down at any cost and would continue to work towards enhancing the professional standards of the force.

Home Secretary NS Kalsi also expressed shock and concern at the development and exhorted the officers to get back to the task of keeping the state and its people safe and secure.

The meeting was attended, among others, by the Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral and Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, besides all the DGPs (except Sumedh Singh Saini) and the 17 ADGPs of the Punjab Police.

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