Friday, May 08, 2009

IPS crunch in Maoist hotbed

LALMOHAN PATNAIK
Cuttack, May 8: The Indian Police Service (IPS) is 109 officers short of its sanctioned strength in Orissa.

Approximately 57 per cent of these vacancies — 62 officers — are in the direct recruitment quota.

The Orissa government had urged the Centre to allot eight officers every year to fill up the vacancies, but the ministry of home affairs (MHA) on May 4 had allotted four IPS officers from the 2009 batch.

“MHA’s allotment in 2009 is contrary to what Union home minister P. Chidambaram had assured while reviewing the Naxalite menace in Orissa,” said a top officer at the state police headquarters here on condition of anonymity.

Filling up the sanctioned posts has become imperative to combat the Maoist extremism in Orissa.

Though top officers offer no details, it now looks as though 12 direct recruit IPS officers of the Orissa cadre are away on central postings. Chief minister Neveen Patnaik has put an embargo on further deputation.

Figures updated on May 1, 2009, show that there are 98 IPS officers in Orissa against the sanctioned strength of 207. There are 97 officers in the direct IPS cadre against 159 sanctioned posts.

Bidya Bhusan Mohanti, the senior most IPS officer of 1972 batch, is under suspension for over a year now after his son jumped parole after being charged with rape of a German woman.

The case with N.K. Kanodia, IPS officer of the 2003 batch, is similar.

He has been under suspension for eight months now in connection with the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati.

As for the 48 sanctioned posts for promoted IPS officers, 47 are vacant. B.P. Mohapatra, the lone promoted IPS officer in the state, is scheduled to retire by next month.

“Discontinuance of the direct recruitment of Deputy superintendent of police through Orissa Police Service Examination since 1976 had resulted in the reduction in the number of promotional quota of IPS officers over the years,” said the senior IPS officer.

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