Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asserted in the state legislature today that police personnel will not be appointed on a contractual basis and said Mumbai faces a shortage of around 10,000 cops.
In a statement made in the legislative council, Mr Fadnavis, who is also the home minister, said the Mumbai Police has sought 3,000 personnel from the Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC), an undertaking of the state police, to tide over the paucity of manpower.
He said there is a shortage of around 10,000 personnel in the Mumbai police force and the country’s financial capital cannot be safeguarded adequately with this shortfall.
“Nowhere are police personnel taken on contract and it will not be done (in Maharashtra),” the deputy chief minister said in the Assembly earlier in the day.
While making the statement in the council, Mr Fadnavis said the 3,000 personnel sought from MSSC will be used for providing security, guard-related duties and other static tasks.
“They (MSSC personnel) will not be given any work related to investigation or implementation of law and order. There is no contractual hiring of police…. no such proposal is under consideration,” the home minister said in the Upper House.
Mr Fadnavis’ response came after criticism from the opposition which alleged police personnel were recruited on a contractual basis in the state.
He said the Mumbai police force has 10,000 vacant posts and 1,500 personnel retire from service every year.
There was no fresh recruitment in the police force in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and around 500 cops have succumbed to Covid-19 since the pandemic broke out more than three years ago, Mr Fadnavis said.
He added that the process of state-wide recruitment of 18,331 police personnel has started. These include 14,956 police constables, 2,174 drivers (of constable rank) and State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) personnel.
Of the 18,331 police personnel being recruited, 7,076 posts are of constables and 994 of drivers (of constable rank) for Mumbai, Mr Fadnavis said.
Earlier, raising the issue in the assembly, Congress MLA Nana Patole said, “You (the government) are recruiting police personnel on a contract basis. Your ministers are also on contract. When they take a briefing (from officials), they twist answers which is why questions take time to be answered. Give pointed replies.”
Responding to this, Mr Fadnavis said no minister is on contract. “If you (Mr Patole) want to come on contract then we will think about it. Nowhere are police personnel taken on contract and it will not be done (in the state),” the deputy chief minister clarified.
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