CID is well poised in West Bengal with no major problem in the state and takes pro-active policy to prevent crimes. Additional Director General (CID) Dr. Rajesh Kumar told our Assistant Editor Abhijit Chatterjee in an interview that the financial crimes related to the ATMs are causing concern and announced introduction of a twitter handle @cidwestbengal for quicker communication and interaction with the public. He also said, new software has been launched to zero in upon any crime for immediate action. Following are the excerpts of the interview:
Q. 1. People are familiar with the name of this unit of West Bengal Police because of its excellence in the field of investigation. Please tell us something about the background of this unit.
Criminal Investigation Department of West Bengal Police is 111-year old now, having its Head Quarters at Bhawani Bhawan. Since Independence, the unit has been relentlessly fighting crime and winning results as well. In post-independent India, with a DIG at the helm, fight was by and large against conventional crimes like dacoity, robbery, burglary, theft, murder and of course, crime against women.
With the manifestations of organised crimes like drug abuse and drug trafficking, smuggling, money laundering, terrorism and narco-terrorism, light arms proliferation, contract killings, kidnapping for ransom, illegal immigration, insurgency, the task of our organisation has gone up manifold. Today, Cyber Crime is emerging as anew trend and fighting it will again be different. We have been confronting these issues professionally with acquired skills and natural endowment with an ADG at the helm of affairs, with two IGPs, two DIGs and six SP level officers.
Q. 2. What is the present crime scenario in the state? How do you rate West Bengal with other states in this regard?
- There is no major political or law and order problem in the state.
- There is no incident by KLO, CPI (Maoist) and other extremist groups in recent past.
- Poppy cultivation is well under control due to pro- active efforts by all stakeholders.
- Effective and professional approach is putting West Bengal Police at a different level when we compare it with other states.
Q. 3. Which are the vulnerable districts or areas in crime map of the state? How do you manage to prevent crimes in those areas and maintain law and order there?
Every district has some unique features. The same is reflected in the pattern of crime as well. The perusal of the crime figure of the West Bengal indicates that the crime against body is more in the districts of South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Nadia and Hooghly for different reasons. The recovery of arms and ammunitions is more in North 24 Parganas district followed by Barrackpore Police Commissionerate, Burdwan, South 24 Parganas districts, etc. Similarly, the incident of dacoity and robbery is more in the districts of South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia, etc.
We believe in the popular saying, “prevention is better than cure”. Keeping that in focus, CID officers and men across the state have been relentlessly keeping close surveillance over active criminals, taking stock of the jail-birds coming back to civil domain. CID has recently launched Crime Criminal Search (CCS) software. A mobile application has also been launched for the same. This has enabled the officers of the District Police as well as at CID to immediately zero in upon Modus Operandi and other peculiarity of the crime. This has helped our officers to immediately detect the serious crime committed anywhere in the state.
CID tweet handle (@CIDWestBengal) has been introduced for communication and interaction with the public. Apart from this, we aim at launching Predictive Policing tools to prevent crime. Our goal is to build up trust with the members of the public to nip the crime in the bud. Cyber Crime Cell of West Bengal Police is also focusing upon detecting crime by use of latest technical aids. The Special Operations Group (SOG) for North Bengal is also focusing upon the serious crime committed in the state. The District Police is being trained in the ways to detect and prevent specialised crime.
Q. 4. What are the significant changes you have noticed in the crime pattern during past few years? What are your strategies to curb those?
The following significant changes are being noticed in crime pattern during the recent past:
- Financial crimes including cyber/ATM related crimes are on the rise. Even crime through telephone is being reported frequently.
- Registration of cases have increased remarkably with the people as well as media reporting more number of crimes to the police. Thus greater focus is laid on the registration of cases.
- Laws have been subjected to flux with the change of crime pattern. POCSO Act, JJ ACT 2015, have been enacted and implemented.
- Definition of rape has been extended and victims are coming forward to lodge complaints which are a good sign.
- Acid attack cases have been brought u/s 326A IPC.
- Work place harassment, especiallyof female employees is being reported.
- Domestic violence like torture on newlywed bride, child labour, violence towards maid servant as well as children being forcibly employed in hazardous work such as cracker factory, are new areas of crime which are being reported.
- Increase in reporting and recording of the kidnapping and missing cases, as all missing reports are being converted into specific cases resulting in more number of kidnapping cases.
On the other hand, Maoist extremism, number of civilian killings has significantly come down because of effective arrests executed and winning the hearts and minds of the people in the Naxal prone areas by implementation of developmental works under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister, West Bengal.
Activities of organisations like KLO, GCPA are at very low ebb.
Let me articulate the following measures which are notable to curb the emerging trend of crime pattern:
- Presence of Police/Civic Volunteers on roads has increased to a great extent.
- Police have become proactive in the collection of actionable intelligence.
- CCS software is being abundantly used to trace and/or match the past records of criminals.
- Co-ordination and camaraderie among agencies have increased for early detection of cases.
- Use of scientific technologies by CID,West Bengal is playing a crucial role in detection of crime.
- Proactive role of Media (both Mainstream Media as well as Social Media) for reporting even a petty cases has also become handy.
- Employment and deployment of lady officers to handle crime against women and crimes committed by women.
- Recruitment of more number of investigating officers at the PS level.
Q. 5. Many women police stations have been set up in the backdrop of crime against women. How these police stations have been able to supplement in the process of investigation?
No fewer than 32 women police stations have been setup in the backdrop of crime against women. In future, more would be added.
- Since women police stations are entirely run by women police personnel, an element of fear on the part of the women complainants has diminished.
- So far as crime against women is concerned, the lady officers do have greater and better access to the victim as well as the complainant.
- Lady Officers are by and large sympathetic towards the societal and familial requirement of the victims.
- An Act like Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 has been enacted to protect women from domestic violence.
- Women police stations are close to the district HQs. The lady officers staying there solve the women related issues more humanely there by decreasing the number of cases unlike the local PSs.
- Women issues are well taken care of and get the attention they deserve.
- Women issues are prioritised.
- They have the bent of mind to work with problem solving attitude.
Q. 6. Could you please share with us any of your interesting policing experiences?
CID, West Bengal has done a good number of investigations in the recent past. One Md. Mosiuddin alias Abu Musa was arrested from Howrah Railway Station area who was associated with Islamic State (IS), a dreaded terrorist organization. A triple murder case had taken place in the English Bazar PS area of Malda district. In this case, a house owner Mr. Ram Ratan Agarwal, his wife Manju. Agarwal and one domestic servant were killed and house was looted. There was no eyewitness to the incident.CID, West Bengal not only cracked the case in less than 24 hours but also arrested principal accused person Nirmal Singh and his associates and also recovered almost entire looted property in a very short span of time. Similarly, a case of murdering a jeweller and loot of approx. 3.5 kgs of Gold was reported in Chomu PS under Jaipur Police Commissionerate in Rajasthan. CID, West Bengal helped them to detect the entire case, recover the entire looted property and arrest of all the accused persons and their associates in this case.
Information on illegal trafficking of newborn babies came to the notice of CID, West Bengal. A team raided Sohan Nursing Home and Polyclinic at Baduria PS area in North 24 Parganas district and recovered three new born babies from there. In continuation of that, another raid was conducted at Purbasha, Kalagachia, Thakurpukur PS, South 24 Parganas district from where 10 more babies were recovered. A total of 20 accused persons including three doctors were arrested in this case. Based upon the statement of the arrested accused persons, dead bodies of two newborn babies could be exhumed from the ground of Sujit Dutta Memorial Trust, Habra PS, North 24 Parganas district.CID, West Bengal is committed to achieve its goal of fighting crime and win, in complete dedication to the service of people.