Monday, June 17, 2024
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West Garo Hills police sans manpower

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The West Garo Hills Police force has been functioning with a shortfall of manpower and crime in the district more than doubled while the number of pending cases also increased during 2006-2011, stated the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report which was placed in the Assembly on Tuesday.

At a time when insurgency activities in Garo Hills are on the higher side, the CAG report recommended that effective steps need to be taken to fill up the vacant posts in the police force in order to bring down the number of crimes.

The district, which is also the headquarters of the police battalion headed by a commandant, has seven police stations, three police outposts, one check post, one investigation centre, one petrol post, three police infiltration posts and three beat houses.

As per the report, adequate manpower is imperative for effective policing in the district which faced a shortage of man power ranging from 5 to 14 per cent during 2006-11.

In 2006-07, the sanctioned strength was 724 while the number of men-in-position was 661 resulting in a shortfall of 63 posts (9 per cent). Later in 2010-11, the sanctioned strength was 770 and the number of men-in-position was 732 resulting in a shortfall of 38 posts (5 per cent).

“In January 2012, the Home (police) department stated that the shortfall of man-power was due to death, retirement, promotion and resignation of police personnel and actions have been initiated to fill up the vacancies,” the CAG report stated.

The report further stated that the number of crime and pending cases in the district showed an upward trend during 2006-11. While the number of cases reported in the district increased from 253 in 2006-07 to 597 in 2010-11, the number of pending cases increased from 1,621 as of March 31, 2007 to 2, 849 at the end of March 2011. The number of cases solved increased significantly during 2009-10 with 446 cases, but dropped to just 240 cases in 2010-11.

“In January 2012, the Police department stated that pending cases keep adding every year, but did not furnish any reason for increase in the crime rate,” the report added.

In connection with fire and emergency services in West Garo Hills, the CAG report recommended that effective steps need to be taken to create the infrastructure as per norms so as to avoid and minimize the loss of property due to fire incidents.

According to the Tura Superintendent of Police, 12 fire and emergency service stations were required in the district as per the given norms. However, only nine such stations existed during 2010-11, the report stated. During 2006-07, there were 162 fire incidents in the district damaging worth 2.12 crore. Thus, shortfall of infrastructure by 25 per cent was one of the causes responsible for the loss of property, the report mentioned.

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