he 2008-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, Umashankar Dash, has assumed the charge of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) for Bhubaneswar Urban Police District (UPD) recently. Dash has proved his mettle during the devastating cyclonic storm Fani in 2019, smooth maintenance of law and order during the eviction drive in Puri for the Heritage Corridor project this year. He has also received Governor’s Medal for his efforts during the Fani. The newly-appointed DCP shares his thoughts with Orissa POST on the challenges ahead…
Please tell us about your plans to ensure the safety of on-duty policemen as the virus is spreading like wildfire and the cops have to enforce the lockdown in a fool-proof manner.
In this time of the pandemic, the safety of police personnel is very important. We are following all the safety protocols like social distance, wearing of masks and sanitisation among others. Our workplaces are being sanitised regularly. Our staffers are getting tested in large numbers. Sufficient PPE kits, gloves etc have been provided to all the personnel. The internal awareness campaign is being taken up to prevent them from getting infected.
The entire police force is engaged in Covid-19 and other law and order duty. Do you think it would affect the investigations? If yes, how you are going to handle this?
Now, our priority is containing Covid-19 as it is an immediate threat to people’s lives. However, we are also emphasising on our core functioning and making efforts so that it is not significantly affected.
How are you going to rein in the rampant drug peddling in the Capital city?
Drug menace is a threat to the present and future of our society. It affects our youth very adversely. Other forms of crimes are also linked to drug abuse. We are aware of the menace and making consistent efforts to weed it out.
Chain snatching gangs have again made their presence felt in the city and we are very likely to see more such incidents in future as a Covid-19 fallout. What are the strategies to deal with these anti-socials?
We are analysing the previous incidents of chain snatching and also known criminals. We will take all chain snatching incidents seriously and try to control it.
There are many cases including some sensitive ones pending for investigation at the city police stations. How would you address this?
It’s true that several cases have been pending at the police stations for long and I will try my best to ensure the disposal of pending cases at the earliest.
Of late, the city has witnessed a spike in cybercrimes. Your plan to tackle it.
Only the IICs in the police stations are authorised to handle cybercrimes. Keeping in view the rising cases, we are planning to arrange cyber training for the sub-inspectors at the police station level so that they can assist the IICs during the investigations.
Your plans regarding VIP security in the city amidst the pandemic.
There are established protocols and systems of VIP security. We will follow those.
Gyan Ranjan Mohapatra, OP