PATNA: Even as Bihar deals with the crisis of not having enough policemen to tackle the growing incidents of crime, nearly 200 police constables posted in Patna district have been found missing from work for more than a year.
After the matter came to light during an inspection of the police lines by Patna deputy inspector general (DIG) Rajesh Kumar, two such missing policemen were placed under suspension on Thursday.
“I was informed of such a situation and so I visited Patna police lines for a thorough inspection. I found that nearly 200 policemen, including some officers, have been staying away from duty without any authorisation for more than a year,” said Kumar.
Most of these missing policemen have, however, been receiving their salaries regularly. They had not sought any leave and were not sent for any official duty outside their place of work. Their salaries were stopped with immediate effect on Thursday and they were asked to join in the next two days or face departmental action.
The DIG also asked for a detailed report about the dates when these errant cops had last reported for duty. The sergeant major, whose responsibility it is to keep a track of police constables at work, has been asked to furnish these details.
“It is a serious dereliction of duty. We will trace these missing men by reaching their permanent addresses in our files. If they are not interested in serving in the police force, they will be asked to leave,” said state DGP PK Thakur. Some of these missing policemen, he added, had come to Patna district on deputation from other districts.
Ironically, the matter surfaced when the state police are observing ‘Police Week’ in the state. At the inaugural ceremony in Patna on Thursday, the DGP praised the police force for various achievements such as making more arrests of lawbreakers and seizing more contraband, liquor and weapons. The theme for this year’s ‘Police Week’ is women’s safety. It was prohibition last year.
Bihar has one of the lowest police-public ratio in the country. As per the data from Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), Bihar currently has one policeman for every 839 persons, up from 1,250 in 2010.