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Thứ Bảy, 20 tháng 7, 2013

Goh fallout: 24 SAP jawans may get the boot - Times of India

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GAYA: With criticism for virtual gifting no less than 30 sophisticated weapons including INSAS and SLRs to the Maoists, dismissal threat looms large over 24 SAP personnel for gross negligence of duty resulting in loss of both men and weapons.

According to Aurangabad SP Daljeet Singh, he is recommending Magadh Range DIG Naiyyar Hasnain Khan for stern action against the 24 SAP jawans (deputed at the Goh camp) found wanting in making an appropriate response to the Maoist invasion. On being asked about the quantum of punishment, the SP said it could result in dismissal. The DIG will take a final call in the matter, said the SP.

Asked whether these personnel were absent from the place of deployment in an unauthorized manner during the critical period, the SP said that identifying the absentees was somewhat difficult, but what is apparent is the absence of appropriate response to the Maoist attack.

Less than 2 per cent of the firepower of the SAP was utilized during the Maoist operation, which means that quite a few of the personnel were either absent or lax and in both cases action was warranted. The SAP personnel were issued more than 2,500 cartridges and less than 50 cartridges were used by a 30-strong party, which was not acceptable, said the SP.

Favouring stern action against the lax securitymen, retired IG and former SP of Aurangabad M A Kazmi said this was the time to crack the whip against negligent policemen. The police manual, according to Kazmi, needs to be amended to insert the clause pertaining to the mandatory dismissal of policemen who lost their weapons due to negligence and irresponsible behaviour and also realize the cost of the lost weapons from the negligent policemen.

There is a provision in the police manual to dismiss from service the constable from whose custody prisoners escape. The manual should be amended to include policemen who lose their weapons as well, said Kazmi.

The Goh incident has put a question mark over the utility of SAP in combatting the Maoists. The performance of SAP has been less than satisfactory if not disappointing, admit officials. This is not for the first time that SAP personnel have been found wanting in Magadh division. At several places including Kawoakol (Nawada) and Raniganj (Gaya), SAP men have not conducted themselves in a professional manner resulting in triple losses (men, weapon and morale).

More than Maoist success, the Goh operation reflects the failure of the police to learn from past mistakes. What makes the event more embarrassing for the police establishment is the fact that the force comprising former armymen, created specially with much fanfare to combat Maoists, has shown itself in a very poor light.

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