SRE bungling; Let Police not probe police

Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) has been caught on the wrong foot. A report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has unveiled the muck behind the closed doors. The report has given detailed account of brazen misuse of security related expenditure for hiring of vehicles for the conduct of Parliamentary and Assembly elections in 2014.

The report has without mincing words affirmed that it is a multi-crore scam in which funds worth crores of rupees have been swindled by 68 Superintendents of Police (SPs), Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) and Commandants across the State. These officers have shown scooters, motor-cycles, bulldozers, tractors, private cars, condemned vehicles and government vehicles hired as taxis and buses and swindled money from the “Security Related Expenditure (SRE)” of Rs 115.68 crore provided by the Government of India for “Carriage of Constabulary and Hiring of Vehicles” to the Jammu and Kashmir Police during Parliamentary and Assembly elections 2014.

Graft has been exposed by the Central Audit Wing of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) during the audit of a sample of nine Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) who are among 68 DDOs who got over Rs 116 crore from the Police Headquarters for “Carriage of Constabulary and Hiring of Vehicles” under “Security Related Expenditure (SRE)”. This revelation has brought to light chilling reality of police resorting to Loot-Khasoot and that too of the funds which are released by the government of India for security related expenditure.

It has raised serious questions on the system of accountability in Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP). The report has exhibited in detail how brazenly the officers of Jammu and Kashmir Police have looted the state exchequer. SSP Police Control Room Srinagar has been accused of misappropriation of Rs 2.0828 crore. For reasons known to him only, he hired 3463 vehicles, out of which Audit team has checked 2348 and found 368 vehicles as fictitious.

Without worrying about the consequences, the officer has drawn money against two government vehicles as well and shown them hired as taxis. His counterpart in Jammu, SSP PCR Jammu has misappropriated Rs 1.6272 crore and hired 3040 vehicles, out of which Audit team has checked 2086 and found 237 vehicles as fictitious. Even this officer had drawn money against three government vehicles besides managing double payment against 20 hired vehicles.

Similar has been case of SSP PCR Srinagar and Jammu, then SSPs of Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Staff Officer to Additional Director General Armed Police. This barefaced loot has more to do with impunity that the police enjoys in Jammu and Kashmir. It knows that there is none on earth to ask them all the tough questions. They have a firm belief that none is going to take them to task for indulging in corrupt practices since they know that there is not even one institution where they would be tried by civil officers and not their own colleagues.

They know that their colleagues won’t disappoint them when it comes to concluding a probe against a police officer. Hence, whatever probe is ordered, it is highly unlikely that some stringent action would be taken against the accused officers. PDP-BJP government should take note of this lacuna and instead of asking the police officers to probe their own colleagues, it should set-up or create a new mechanism or a new institution wherein those police officers who are fund involved in this multi-crore fraud could be tried and tested. It should not wait anymore. Let police officers be probed by individuals and officials other than their own colleagues.





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