At a time when the image of the police department has taken a serious beating amidst the recent controversies, newly appointed Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, on Tuesday, said, even though it is quite difficult and challenging at times, he will not interfere in the police administration. Walse-Patil, after formally taking over the home department’s charge, said he is committed to have clean and transparent functioning of the police administration while keeping the common man in focus.
Walse-Patil, who met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and his mentor Sharad Pawar, said he has been given the responsibility when the police force has been working 24x7 to combat the present coronavirus pandemic and also maintaining law and order. “I appeal to the citizens to cooperate with the police force, especially when for Gudi Padwa, Ram Navami, Ambedkar Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti and the commencement of Ramzan. I am aware they are important amongst various religions. However, there will be challenging situations amidst the rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases,” he added.
Walse-Patil, who is NCP’s crisis manager, admitted that he would make efforts to build confidence amongst various sections about the Home Department. He said he will seek advice from the serving and retired police officers to improve the Home Department’s functioning.
His priorities will include the strengthening of the police force, implementation of the SHAKTI Act, fast tracking police recruitment and expediting the construction of 1 lakh houses for the police personnel.
Amidst the charges of the police transfer racket made by BJP, Walse-Patil clarified that transfers will take place as per the system, which is already put in place, indicating that he will keep himself away and will not interfere. “I will seek the media's cooperation to ask policy-related issues. As for the daily investigation reports, I plan to put in place a separate mechanism to share information,” he noted.
He said the state government will extend full cooperation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Antilia bomb scare case and Mansukh Hien death case, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has been asked by the Bombay High Court, on Monday, to hold a preliminary investigation in to the alleged corruption charges against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. He announced that the state government will file a petition in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order.
On the loyalty of the police personnel, Walse-Patil said he will seek details in this regard and, if needed, action will be taken. His statement is important, as IPS Rashmi Shukla, who had ‘illegally’ done phone tapping in the alleged police transfer racket, was termed as a BJP agent by NCP.
Taking a serious note of the recent naxal attack, Walse Patil said he spoke to the additional DG to take stock of the situation in Gadchiroli and added that trained police personnel have been deployed.