Ready for any security threat

Ready for any security threat

Ready for any security threat, B Prasada Rao, DGP Prasada Rao. Prasada Rao worked in various capacities as an IPS officer in different parts of the...

These are surely tense moments for the police dept_DGP Prasada Rao

After his graduation from Loyola College in Vijayawada, he completed MSc with distinction in physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Thereafter, he set his sights on the civil services examination. He qualified for the civil services as an IPS officer in the very first attempt in 1978-79. He was simultaneously selected as a probationary officer in State Bank of India; a junior lecturer in Osmania University; a Fellow in the Indian Institute of Science, and also as a forest officer. In fact, with the idea of bettering his scoring in the civil services, he initially refused to join the IPS cadre and joined the SBI to make one more serious attempt.

Prasada Rao worked in various capacities as an IPS officer in different parts of the State. Apart from serving as Superintendent of Vigilance, he had a brief stint as Commandant of CISF in Visakhapatnam and Bhopal. Due to the rapid socio-economic changes that our state is witnessing, the volume and nature of crime has also increased exponentially. The soft spoken but tough officer drives home the point to his juniors and the criminals and terrorists that he means business. Director General of Police B Prasada Rao

How would you describe the security situation in Andhra Pradesh?

The situation is under control .We have taken every measure to provide security to the common man. The state is going through a rough political situation. We have reserved forces to meet any violent or untoward situation. Our officers and intelligent departments are on vigil round-the-clock. The Maoist movement is also under control. By the end of the month, the scenario of bifurcation will be clear, and these are surely tense moments for the police department, but we are ready to face any eventuality. Andhra Pradesh is the target of an ever-growing list of terrorist groups, insurgent forces and criminal networks. Even petty criminals are now in possession of hi-tech gadgets that allow them better access and reduce their chances of being caught. In such an environment, the need for skill and competency upgradation of the police force is a sine qua non.

Will bifurcation add to the spurt in Maoist movement?

There is a belief though the top Maoist leaders are from north Telangana, infiltration can happen from any of the borders. The cabinet note on creating a new state of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh has no mention of measures to address the internal security challenges during the process of bifurcation. Potential Maoist threats loom over the newly formed Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh states. It is expected from the Union and the state governments that steps are taken to design and reconfigure the internal security architecture; train and equip the state police to tackle the Maoist threat and establish cooperation between police departments of both the regions.

In case of bifurcation of the state law and order is going to be with the Governor. What is going to be your role?

What I was made to understand is in case of bifurcation the law and order situation of Hyderabad will be under the Governor and the rest of the districts will function as it is.

So I do not see much of a change. An additional unit of Rapid Action Force (RAF) will be deployed in Hyderabad for the first five years. The anti-Naxal commando force -- Greyhounds -- in Hyderabad shall function for the first three years under the Ministry of Home Affairs. After new Andhra Pradesh sets up its own Greyhounds, the original one shall come under the control of the Telangana government .The other departments will function as it is.

What are the challenges before senior police officers in today’s changed scenario?

The Services have to be tuned continuously to meet the aspirations of the people. Aspirations are being fuelled by the media and the rapid spread of technology. What the people in villages and small towns were unaware of earlier, they are better aware of them, and now there is this huge aspirational change in them. This has placed us in a delicate and challenging position. We are also made accountable by the people, which is a positive development. We have to cater to these aspirations. We have to create the skills, the infrastructure, and the resources needed to fulfill their aspirations. Another serious problem dogging us is how to manage obsolescence in men, machine and matters. We have to learn the art of backward integration as one way of managing this. Increase in cyber crime is one of the biggest challenges. Our officers are being trained in the latest technologies. White collar crime is a growing menace and in spite of several media reports, people are falling prey to the hidden agenda of criminals.

What kind of experiences and sensibilities as the head of the state police force do you bring to your present job?

My experiences as a police officer have been of tremendous help to me in all my postings. No other profession gives as much insight into the human nature as this. One sees all kinds of human depravity, but this gives you a different exposure. No wonder, many of the officers turn extremely spiritual, as they grow older. I wanted to work impartially in the interests of every individual who is in need of our services.

Are we going on the lines of other metros in terms of women’s safety. Is women’s safety on the top of your agenda?

Women’s safety is one of the primary tasks which we have to shoulder because they are the vulnerable segment of our society. They are far more vulnerable than their male counterparts … We have to ensure that they feel safe and secure. We are training our officers in gender sensitivity, and are increasing vigilance through CC cameras, patrolling etc. We are also training women working in night shifts to play safe. GPRS systems are made functional to monitor movements and any deviations of routes. Our stations and patrolling vehicles are taking immediate measures.

How do you handle political interference?

We should not have administrators or elected officials showing up at crime scenes unless specifically requested by law enforcement. However well-intentioned, it can send a wrong message and can create an appearance of impropriety. People must know that the criminal justice system works the same for all of us and does so without political interference and without special treatment for anyone. Justice for all requires special favours for none.

Politicians are people’s representatives and they become the people’s voice, so they put forward the people’s grievances. But when turned down politely, the politicians understand us. In jobs and transfers, we are going by merit, though our own officers at times go to politicians with special requests.

Is the police trained to handle communal sensitivity in a neutral way?

Hyderabad is communally sensitive and we train our officials accordingly. Some officers at times go overboard and do harass a minority community, but as senior officers we keep a strict vigil and this practice is not allowed. We explain secular practices to our officers.

If a person gets frustrated by their dealings with the police, how can they reach you?

They can not only drop a mail but can also personally visit. There is a system of grievance handling at the police headquarters also. The Commissioners and the Joint Commissioners also meet the public on a day-to-day basis. Even I will be meeting those whose grievances are not redressed.

Physics is your passion and you wrote a book on how to learn English easily. How do you get time as the head of the state police?

I like to embrace words like `camaraderie'; and prefer to keep a low profile. I like to spend my free time, rehearsing the 11,000 English words that I have mastered, write short stories and challenge the horizons of physics.

Tell us about your family

My wife Sowmani is MS in sociology. She is a home-maker. My son Vikas has done his IIT physics and masters from IIM-A, and is working with D Décor as Systems Manager. My daughter-in-law Sowmya is a software engineer in Texas.

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