Raktima Bose

KOLKATA: In an effort to strengthen the police administration in the face of the Maoist menace as well as several other law and order issues, the West Bengal Government's Home Department has decided to create two new Director-General posts, taking the number of such posts to six.

Currently there are four Director-General posts in the State Police – D-G (Police), D-G (Armed Police), D-G (Home Guard) and D-G (Crime Record Bureau).

The State Government has also decided to increase the number of Indian Police Service (IPS) personnel serving in the State from 150 to 188, of whom 17 are expected to be joining soon. State Police D-G Bhupinder Singh told The Hindu on Saturday that the steps are being taken to reorganise and strengthen the police force further.

Though Mr. Singh refused to divulge the specific duties to be assigned to the two new D-Gs, indications are that one of them will be given the charge of looking after the Left-wing extremism problem in the State.

While the Maoists are continuing with their violent activities in the three south-western districts of Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia almost regularly despite the presence of 26 companies of Central forces, they are also expanding their base to other districts like Hooghly, Birbhum, Nadia and Murshidabad according to intelligence reports.

There is, however, no dedicated department in the State Police so far to tackle the menace.

Meanwhile, the State Police have also proposed the State Government to bifurcate the post of Deputy Inspector-General (Medinipur range) under which currently the officer-in-charge has to look after the law and order situation in four large districts of Purbo and Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia.

Mr. Singh said since a significant portion of this region is dominated by the Maoists and requires intensified policing, it has been proposed that the post be bifurcated into DIG (Purbo and Paschim Medinipur) headquartered at Kharagpur and DIG (Bankura and Purulia) headquartered at Bankura.