Call it an exercise to get feedback or a confidence building measure in the midst of loss of face on ‘Gudia gangrape and murder case’, Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh Somesh Goel on Friday admitted that the issue has dented the confidence of people.
“We are facing turbulent times. There was a crime incident and then a custodial death. Do I get bogged down by that and stop leading. We have a 16000 strong HP Police. It is a matter of restoring their confidence also. We have to take it on the chin and move on. We can’t paint every cop with the same brush and Himachal,” the DGP said.
Replying to each and every question at the interaction with locals, civil society and legal experts on ‘Police reforms and public expectations’ here, Goel found it an opportune platform to share his concerns and plans.
The session was, however, chaired by former CBI Director and former DGP, Himachal, Ashwani Kumar.
“We were in dilemma whether to go for this discussion in the midst of all what has happened and the trepidation. But then we thought to go with it keeping with transparency,” he said.
Goel said there was need to change the Police attitude, mindset and evaluate the scenario.
“Police is a service. We need to have a re-look at ourselves. We can always want more. But then we should see what public wants from us. I have been fighting it out continuously for 34 years, and will carry on doing that,” he said.
He said he felt bad when he has to intervene even for registration of FIR on getting information from own sources and sometimes social media. The FIR should not be denied,” he said.
The DGP said the improvement in working conditions of Police men and staff strength in HP is on his agenda. “My focus on the constabulary, which comprises 95 per cent of the Police force in Himachal Pradesh. They are the real face of Police and we need to empower them. I want to check ‘trust deficit’ within the department as well as I want my constables to come to me straight and talk about their problems.”
Asked as to how much independent the Police is in Himachal, the DGP said, “As much as the Police wants to be.”
Goel said the investigation wing of HP Police would be strengthened. “We will model it out on the lines of CBI. We have so many officers, who have worked in CBI.Their services can be utilised for this.”
He said as App on Standard Operative Procedures (SOPs) would be provided to every constable in HP as a handy reference during investigation of different crimes for efficiency.