The Gr. Noida gangrape cum murder has again put the spotlight on one of the most burning issues of Uttar Pradesh—law & order. This incident coupled with riots in Saharanpur have put the Yogi Govt. to test on the security front. Besides, a general observation of things and going by several media reports of past month or so, there seems to be a sudden spurt in crime in Ghaziabad, Noida and Gr. Noida and the residents are increasingly questioning the ‘quality’ of policing—that they feel has gone down and point out that the situation is fast spiraling out of control.

Although the Yogi Adityanath Government has called for zero tolerance towards crime and the CM has repeatedly said that these are early days to judge his government’s performance on law & order, what is intriguing is that why despite several transfers and postings of top cops in the past few days, law & order is suffering. In trans-Hindon colonies of Ghaziabad—like Indirapuram, Vasundhara and Vaishali—incidents of chain and mobile snatchings have spiked perceptibly. UP Minister Suresh Khanna who visited Ghaziabad yesterday (May 25) said that the crime graph appears to have risen as more cases are now being registered by the police—that was not being done earlier.

Take for instance Ghaziabad—a test case for any officer. The top police brass including SSP, SP City and few other senior officers are totally new, however many DSP and inspector rank cops posted by the previous regime have not been transferred still. Many of these have controversial records, members of the public say.

Policing in Ghaziabad, Noida and Gr. Noida assumes totally new dimensions as the criminals often try to stay a step ahead of the police. Crime in NCR, be it Delhi, Ghziabad, Gurugram—follows a common pattern like incidents of chain snatching, mobile loot, road rage, armed loots and cyber crimes. This calls for training and investigation, that is a judicious mix of conventional as well as modern. The police in NCR cities have also taken to social media in a big way—that is good when it serves as a two-way interaction between the police and the public. The top brass of the police should see that junior ranks are sensitised and trained on changed dynamics of policing in NCR, when they come here from different districts of UP.

In Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida & Gr. Noida), the police needs to have a total revamp of their thinking if they have to earn the trust of public. Rampant corruption and rude behaviour-common allegations on cops, have to be curtailed; chargesheeting of cases has to be done on time and the police needs to have a professional approach while investigating all incidents of crime.

A large part of the homework of the police department would be cut down if the police maintains regular interactions with local RWAs, AOAs as well as local representatives. This, in addition to enhanced beat policing and informer network has to be ‘in-built’ in policing system in these areas.

The UP Govt. has said that it does not believe in bias against officers. In this light, in near future, the Govt. should take steps to recall good police officers from Central postings back to UP, to serve in areas that are sensitive due to “crime, caste and communal tensions.”

Law & Order was the main election plank of the BJP when it contested the assembly elections in UP and people will judge the government’s performance when they go out to vote in 2019 Parliamentary elections. Considering this, the government and the police must raise the bar before people start raising the issue.

-Prasoon Pant

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