For arresting declared criminals (POs), the Government Railway Police (GRP) is set to tighten its loophole around individuals released on bail by guarantors or their guarantee POs.
Moreover, in the absence of the resources needed to curb the toll of rising POs, the GRP is struggling to catch up with individual PO cells in each district.
Commenting on the condition of anonymity, a senior GRP official said: “The prevailing trend of agents with some lawyers signing a bail bond in exchange for money is the main reason behind the growing number of POs in the state. Maximum POs are immigrants and they do not attend court or escape, as they are often placed in rented housing and changing their address after being released on bail can be difficult to catch.
Now, in order to stop this practice, GRP has launched a special drive to locate insurers.
“Most of these insurers are unaware of the whereabouts of the accused because they have not met the person before. Some insurers may be genuine and hope to be able to help us trace the whereabouts of these POs. Now, strict action will be taken against counterfeit agents, a GRP official in Ludhiana said.
Surprisingly, out of the total 723 POs registered with the GRP in the state, a total of 408 POs are registered with the Ludhiana Railway Police.
Of the 427 POs registered at the Ludhiana GRP in January, the local railway police have arrested 17 POs this year and two have died.
In addition, of the total POs registered in the statewide GRP, 250 are from Punjab and the rest are from other states.
According to officials, the maximum number of POs are migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Moreover. According to officials, of the 723 POs, GRP 30 failed to arrest the accused and, therefore, they are lodged under Section 82/83 (the court may issue a declaration to the accused if the warrant is not issued against the accused. The death penalty), and the remaining 693 POs 299 (the record of evidence in the absence of the accused) as he jumped his bail and did not. T. to appear before the court.
Lack of funds and staff
An official said the state should have a PO cell with an employee of 50 people.
At the same time, GRPO staff are also struggling with lack of finance, official vehicles and staff.
GRP crew shares an example that the Ludhiana PO team must have spent ₹16,000 from his pocket to bring a PO from Pulwama on a production warrant. “We searched for an official vehicle to bring the PO, but we were denied access to the vehicle and the budget. Finally, Superintendent of Police Praveen Kanda allowed the accused to be brought. We traveled by train to Jammu and later, rented a private cab to reach Pulwama, a sensitive area, but we did not accept our cost, ”the official added.
Recently, however, a retired GRP official claimed that it was difficult for PO staff to finally find the accused, as investigators did not write down the exact address, portrait and relative details of the accused.
Meanwhile, staff have been given special instructions to arrest POs from Punjab on priority basis, Kanda said. “We have been able to successfully locate many POs. Teams are focusing more on those who are hiding from Punjab, though they travel to other states to catch the accused, ”he said.