Shimla: Finding the going tough to contain growing of contraband crops like cannabis and opium in remote and inaccessible valley’s, police is hoping to rope in local resident who would be provided employment under NREGA, the employment guarantee scheme to uproot the illegally grown plants.
On taking charge as new DGP, Daljit Manhas spelled out his priorities about bracing up the police force for meeting the challenges of containing the illegal trade in narcotic substances, reducing vehicular accidents, cyber crime, industrial rioting, crime against women and other crimes so as to improve the security environment for the common man.
He said that illegally growing of cannabis and opium crops in Kullu and Mandi districts was on the rise and the police would take it as a mission mode to uproot them.
Cases of growing opium in Kangra district had also come to light. At a recent meeting presided over by chief secretary Asha Swarup, it was decided to involve local people under NREGA for uprooting these crops which are grown in remote regions, said Manhas.
Conceding that police had been unable to penetrate organized gangs involved in narcotic trade and assuring that efforts would be made to lay an real time intelligence network he said, “a 336 Kg charas catch in Mumbai was tracked back to have originated from Kullu valley.”
He said that though cyber crime was new and only a few cases were being reported but the temptation of getting rich quickly was responsible for many of the internet frauds surfacing. Personnel are being trained to tackle cyber crime. To ensure transparency, e-governance would be expanded in the force.
For ensuring safe transportation of apple boxes during the harvest period, noting down engine and chasis number at specially set up check posts would be done. In industrial belts cases of kidnapping and rioting were surfacing. Community policing would be extended into these regions to ensure the safety of all.
A back to basic approach of strengthening the police station, a proactive rather than reactive response would be adopted and no dereliction of duty for police personnel would be tolerated, said the new DGP.
With the induction of a new reserve battalion, the police strength had increased to 16,000, who were being regularly trained to ensure their professional competence to meet any eventuality, be it man made or natural calamity, he said.
Late on Wednesday, DS Manhas was appointed as the new DG Police Himachal after GS Gill, who completed his term demitted office. He also remains DG state vigilance and anti corruption, a position he held before being made overall chief of the police force. With Gill having availed a month long leave before retirement, Manhas was already functioning as the acting DGP.
A 1977 batch IPS officer, Manhas is MSc in Physics from Delhi university, with an MBA from university of Hawaii and an Phd from Aligarh Muslim University. As an SP, he was instrumental in unearthing the forest scam in the early 1980’s that had resulted in the resignation of the then chief minister Ram Lal Thakur in 1983.
Photo credit: Ravinder Makhaik