He led from the front

  • Atul Sobti
  • India
  • Nov 14, 2014

The most able among the administrators of this City, Police Commissioner Alok Mittal, was transferred within days of the BJP coming to power – and was asked to demit office even before a successor was announced! In fact there is still no successor. He is to take charge as IG (Law & Order) at Rohtak. Meanwhile, the Police Chief of the State, SN Vashisht, stays on. The rest of the City’s administrators, who mainly twiddle their thumbs, and are not willing to take any citizen-friendly actions or initiatives, continue to rule the roost. Achhe din aa gaye, sarkar?

Alok Miital was given a less than 2 years tenure as Police Chief. Even then, he would have left a proud…though disappointed in the political system…man. He has done much to be proud of; the citizens owe him and his team much. Hopefully we will not now start sliding back. Friday Gurgaon ‘formally’ interviewed Alok Mittal on 3 occasions. He came across as a person who worked hard & smart. He was most accessible and refreshingly transparent. He felt his role was to assure the citizens of this City that they were safe, as well as involve them in their own and the neighbourhood’s security (and even on the road).

Many would have seen or experienced this over the past year:

The police are more visible on the road – whether managing traffic, or in PCRs, or behind check posts, or on ‘campaigns’. Regular flag marches are undertaken in ‘sensitive’ areas or before sensitive days. Drunk driving is well under check (taxis are having a field day on weekends), as is ‘negative activity’ around liquor vends or even pubs. Motorists are wary of over-speeding (check the highway to Faridabad). Prepaid Auto booths have been set up near some Metro stations; most auto (not share-auto) drivers have been verified and been made to wear uniforms. Most RWAs have been prodded to ensure the registration and verification of tenants, domestic help and support staff. There are special Helplines for Women, Senior Citizens and people from the North East. Road Safety Officers (local citizens) help the Traffic Police to manage traffic at peak hours in select areas. 

The ex-Police Chief also undertook many initiatives, and always led from the front on these:

He reached out to villages panchayats and sarpanches, to help them rein in ‘troublemakers’; he involved various RWAs in the ‘Saath Saath’ programme; he collaborated with corporates, especially the IT/BPO companies, on various campaigns; he involved senior citizens in a special Apex Committee; he ensured that Cyber Safety campaigns were conducted in schools and offered Cyber Security & Cyber Law internships for students; he set up special cells for Cyber Crime, Economic Offences and Defence Personnel. Women were specially ‘favoured’: by a Women’s Helpline, Women PCRs, a Women’s Cell in each Police District and Women Helpdesks at some Metro stations. He regularly recognised brave and honest ordinary citizens, and policemen; and suspended quite a few corrupt policemen.

On a ‘hardcore’ basis, the City has not faced any major organised crime. Many vehicle thieves (inter–State gangs) have been caught.

What has remained as a blot is the daily ‘snatchings’ and the ‘perennial’ traffic jam areas (which require a holistic solution). The Mega City Policing Plan that he wished to introduce would hopefully be launched by his successor. On the ‘soft’ side, Gurgoan Police was one of the first off the mark on Facebook and Twitter, and now on WhatsApp. And Alok Mittal, in his own quiet manner, was the ‘force’ behind the continuation of Raahgiri.

It’s refreshing to have a public servant who performs his duty conscientiously, and with integrity. Wish you well, Mr. Mittal.


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