Mumbai: 1986 batch IPS officer Sanjay Pandey, who recently took over the additional charge of the Director General of Police spoke to Somendra Sharma of FPJ on various aspects of handling a force that has been under radar following the controversial involvement of arrested assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s corruption allegations against former home minister Anil Deshmukh, and how the force will deal with COVID-19 as it continues to increase in the state.
Q. Finally the government has shown faith in you and has handed over the charge of DGP to you. What do you have to say?
A. I am grateful to the government for showing faith in me and giving me this responsibility to head the force.
Q. You have been handed over the enquiry to ascertain how officers like suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze went rogue while working under former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Have any statements been recorded in the enquiry and what is the progress?
A. The enquiry has just started. We are doing the needful in that probe. The statements are certainly part of the enquiry. The enquiry should be complete in about two week time at the most.
Q. Morale and glory of the police force has taken a hit because of the Vaze incident. How do you intend to restore it?
A. I disagree that morale or image of the police force has been maligned or damaged because of one particular incident. My priority as of now is to improve the morale of the force and at the same time increase the confidence of the citizens in the police.
Q. What is your message to the police force after the Vaze incident?
A. Message to the force is that work within the four corners of the law. If while working you make a genuine mistake unknowingly, we are here to take care of it. But if you cross the boundaries of law and do things which are not correct you will be facing the full force of law against you.
Q. How do you intend to deal with COVID-19 and enforce law and order in the state?
A. As far as possible, the police will exercise restraint and would expect that citizens would follow the rules. We are here to help and we need citizens to help us in carrying out our duties. We do not want any untoward incidents.
Q. Cyber-crimes are on the rise, you being an expert in the cyber field yourself, what are plans to ensure such crimes are cut to size?
A. Cyber-crimes take place because of a lack of awareness. Wherever possible, our cyber-crime officers will be told to educate people and also seek expert help whenever the investigation requires.