With the machinery having gone to great lengths to alert people about bogus cops by prominently displaying banners stating that citizens should insist on policemen furnishing their identity cards (ID), it is essential that the cops possess one so the public can practice what they preach.
Nearly 5,000 policemen stationed across the city haven’t been provided with ID cards since three years, leaving tem with only their uniforms to prove their identity, they claim. To make matters worse, whenever the policemen without ID cards approached higher authorities, they were told that the contract with the issuing firm had lapsed.
“We are only left with our uniform to show our authority. It’s almost two years since I have been transferred to Mumbai, but I never received my ID card. I have written several complaints to the higher authorities, but they replied saying that the tender with the card issuing company is over. If it’s expired then give the contract to some other firm. We need proof to show we are police officers,” said a police officer, on condition of anonymity.
The contract to issue these digital acrylic identity cards was entrusted to NIL Creation, a printing service provider. The company alleges that the order for 5,000 cards is still pending with them and the Mantralaya has only recently sanctioned the amount to pay the firm for its servcies.Not on the cards
Several cops were witnessed using ID cards during their tenure at previously posted districts, while many cops who were promoted have also not been assigned with fresh ID cards with their current designation.
“I was promoted a year ago, but I am still using my previous ID card. People have the right to ask me for the card, but I am lucky that nobody has asked me till now. If they do, then I have to show them my card, which would give them the wrong impression of my position in the police force,” said another police officer, on condition of anonymity.
“Miscreants have been taking advantage of this situation by wearing police uniform and robbing citizens. If the ID cards were distributed efficiently, then I don’t feel that people would have been conned. Responsible citizens should ask police officers for their ID cards rather than trusting them blindly,” said the police officer.
The other side
Nitesh Ahirekar, NIL Creation, said, “We get print orders only on the basis of the amount sanctioned by the Mantralaya. The contract was renewed five days back. We have had a contract with the Mumbai Police for the last eight years. Currently, we have a backlog of 5,000 ID cards.” Terming this issue as minor, Joint commissioner of Police (Administration) Hemant Nagrale refused to comment. He directed this reporter to speak with one of his subordinates. Deputy Commissioner of Police Shardha Raut said, “We have placed an order for the ID cards, and hope that they will be issued soon.”