Guwahati: Assam special DGP (law and order) Gyanendra Pratap Singh on Tuesday took charge as the state’s DGP and promised to create a “citizen-centric” police force and improve the investigation of crimes.
Born on November 8, 1967, Singh, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1991 batch of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, replaced outgoing DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta who attained superannuation on Tuesday.
Assuring that inappropriate behaviour by police officers and police personnel will not be tolerated, Singh warned that punitive action would be initiated against erring police personnel in this regard.
Addressing media persons after taking charge as the state’s top cop, Singh said, “I am absolutely clear that bad behaviour shall not be tolerated in Assam Police at all. I am not thinking in terms of taking punitive action in the beginning…but if the behaviour does not improve then I will not hesitate to take punitive measures against those police officers who indulge in wanton bad behaviour with the public,”
He further promised the people of the state that during his term, that apart from carrying out operations against crime and criminals, he would personally take note of any complaint against police officials misbehaving with any citizen.
“The aim is to create a citizen-centric police force in the state. So please have faith and trust in the Assam Police. Mistakes will be committed but they will be rectified. This is my commitment to the people,” he said.
On the aggressive style of functioning of the Assam police and zero-tolerance against criminals in the past one and half years, Singh said, “I believe that all measures that are provided by law to Assam Police shall be used to counter crime and criminals so that people are kept safe. There is a vast spectrum of action that can be taken in this regard. The most important pillar of action against crime and criminals is a good investigation, good prosecution and good forensics – that shall be the bedrock of Assam Police in the next few years.”
He however said that there was scope for improvement in regard to the police investigation of crimes, especially the forensic support to investigation for which various rounds of deliberations with the government have been held.
“The state government has already engaged a forensic expert who is preparing a blueprint and architecture for the growth of forensics in Assam. So with government support and improvement in forensic infrastructure, a better charge sheet in court can be presented,” Singh said, adding that the state police force would strive to improve its investigation.
The new DGP further emphasised that he would at the same time address the genuine complaints and grievances of the junior-level officers and personnel in the state police force.
“I will never leave my junior officers without support. I am completely with the 70,000 police officers and police personnel who have supported me in the 32 years of my service in the police force. I have to give my police officers an environment to serve the people of the state in an effective manner,” he said.
It may be recalled that Singh had joined the elite Special Protection Group in New Delhi in 2002. During this period, he achieved specialised capabilities in VVIP protection. In recognition of his capabilities, he was given the responsibility of heading the close protection detail of two successive Prime Ministers of India, both within and outside the country.
On his return from Delhi assignment, Singh was posted as Deputy Inspector General and, subsequently, as, Inspector General of Police at Guwahati, where he was instrumental in dismantling the network of banned militant groups such as ULFA and NDFB at a time when the city was grappling with the scourge of IED explosions.
This was achieved largely due to improved intelligence networks and community participation with aid of the police authority.
In 2012, Singh was appointed as the IGP, BTAD, in Kokrajhar after ethnic clashes broke out in the Bodo belt.
From November 2013 to December 2019, he was posted as Inspector General with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi, which is the specialised counter-terrorism investigation agency of the Government of India.
During this tenure, he worked extensively in the Northeast, Kashmir, Punjab, and the hinterland. He supervised the investigation of ISIS-related terror crimes in India as well as their international conspiracies.
He also supervised the investigation of the Samjhauta, Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, and Mecca Masjid blast cases, along with the Pulwama, Uri, and Pathankot blast cases in Jammu and Kashmir.
He led the NIA efforts in unearthing the involvement of separatist leaders in terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, he was brought back to Assam from NIA in December 2019 at a time when the CAA agitation in Assam was at its peak.
To his acclaim, the agitation, the violent part that is, was curbed within a very short time.
He was also a State Nodal Officer for the Inter-State Movement of people in the wake of the COVID-19 breakout and the subsequent lockdown that was imposed in the country. At that time, lakhs of people from the state who were stranded in different parts of India and abroad were safely brought back to Assam.
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From August 2020 till January 2023, Singh held the additional charge of the director, of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Assam government, and led the efforts against corruption among government servants. This period also witnessed the highest-ever recorded action against corrupt government servants in Assam.
Singh had also led the multi-agency anti-rhino poaching task force of the Assam government and was instrumental in ensuring zero poaching of rhinos in 2022 for the first time in 45 years.
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