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Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service (

Chandigarh, December 29, 2012. In a major policy decision, the Punjab Police has decided to shift all officers and men who have stayed at any one place for more than three to four years within 10 days.

The decision is aimed at taking the force out of the influence of local leaders in the wake of criticism that it has come under pressure to tow the line of Akali leaders and workers.

Sources here said the move could result in one of the biggest transfer drives in the force as there are hundreds of officers and personnel who have stayed in one place for as long as 10 to 15 years at a stretch.

Sources said the transfers were likely to break down the cosy relationships forged by police personnel with local political leaders at the 'thana' level and would also take care of allegations of misuse of power by Akali leaders.

Special emphasis is being given to ensure "munshis" (clerks) at police stations are not posted in their own area.

Police sources said that attempts had been made earlier to reduce the influence of Akali leaders -referred to as 'halqa incharges' - by transferring 26 SHOs and 92 police post incharges who had been given district police postings despite the fact that they belonged to the Punjab Armed Police (PAP). This measure was taken in May.

Following this, DGP Sumedh Singh Saini recently shifted two senior police officers each in the Commissionerate of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana with the same intention.

The latest decision - to take action on all long stays - is expected to further limit the influence of political leaders.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal confirmed the development. He said besides ending long stays by officers and men in any one area, he had also told Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) that they would be held responsible for the actions of all personnel under them.

Indicating that SSPs would not be able to take cover under the excuse that a particular officer was close to any political leader, he said, "I have told SSPs if any SHO does not listen to you, suspend him or tell us. We will take action."

The Deputy Chief Minister, who also looks after the Home portfolio, said the SSPs or district police chiefs would have to lead by example.

He said SSPs had been banned from taking any police personnel with them upon being shifted from one district to another. This practice had made several SHOs henchmen of SSPs and a medium for corruption.

Sukhbir also said that the government had done away with the earlier punishment of transferring men to the Police Lines to punish them or suspending them for a certain period. He said he had decided that anyone who was found guilty of misusing his authority or did not do his duty intentionally would be dismissed from service.

The Deputy CM said he was going into the depth of the problems being faced by the police in functioning as a professional force and was committed to eradicating all problems in this regard. "You will find major changes in six months," he said indicating the government has started a reforms exercise to not only make the force more professional, but also more accountable and people-friendly.

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