Don't share lunches with criminals: Top cop

Sep 28, 2013, 01:23 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh directs cops escorting lawbreakers to court to refrain from socialising and eating with them; asks for guards to be changed regularly

Under fire for security lapses during the transportation of criminals, the city’s police commissioner has issued a special circular with guidelines to all his staff. The move comes days after Indian Mujahideen terrorist Afzal Usmani fled from the custody of the Taloja jail officials from the Sessions court last week.

The commissioner has ordered that police officers, who escort the accused to court, should be changed frequently, as they are likely to build a rapport with each other. He has also asked staff to ensure court bathrooms are checked before the accused is permitted to visit the facility, also adding that senior cops must regularly visit courts in civil clothes to keep watch.

“Most of the staff that escort an accused repeatedly tends to build a rapport with the accused. The accused then bribes the cop and takes undue favours like meeting his relatives, and making calls from the cellphone of the officer. Some accused have even threatened people from within the jails,” said Dr Satypal Singh, in the notice (copy available with MiD DAY) issued to his staff.

“The police personnel then eat tiffins with the accused and slowly the fear of cops vanishes from the mind of the criminal who then flees one day. Such things won’t occur if the cops that escort the accused are switched frequently. Also senior officers of the local arms department and jail staff should regularly visit the courts in civil clothes,” the notification says.

“Also, the notorious criminals arrested under serious sections like MCOCA, TADA, POTA and murder should be escorted with armed staff and if required permission from the court should be taken to handcuff them in the court premises,” said the commissioner in the notice. 

Hunt is on
Meanwhile, police are still searching for Usmani who fled seven days ago from the Sessions court. Police teams have been sent to various places, including Mau in Uttar Pradesh where he used to reside earlier and where his three kids and wife still stay. A team has also been sent to the Indo-Nepal border, as it is believed that Usmani may use the porous border to flee from the country. 

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