Deccan Chronicle

Wanted to bring global standards of policing to Bengaluru: Alok Kumar

Deccan Chronicle| MK Ashoka

Published on: August 4, 2019 | Updated on: August 4, 2019

Young police officers should be more effective and creative.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar

As the new BJP government has taken over, Mr Alok Kumar, who was Bengaluru police commissioner for just over a month and managed to get a major breakthrough in the investigation into Ponzi scheme cases, has been transferred. In an interview with M.K. Ashoka, Mr Kumar underlined that throughout his career, he has followed the path of law while taking action against top politicians and bureaucrats. "I have taken action in the interest of the people and I am ready to face the consequences," he says. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Do you think you are vulnerable to the existing political situation in the state?
No. I am not bothered about the political situation. I am dispassionately passionate in my profession, and I don’t have an attachment to any individual or post. Whatever time you have in a post, whether it is for a month or a year, there should be no attachment. I am passionate towards my work, and one should not be dispassionate in his work. But one should also not get attached to individuals.

You have initiated legal action against powerful politicians. Some of them are close to the present ruling dispensation. Don’t you have backlash fears? Don’t you think these politicians can gang up against you?
I don’t deliberately rough up feathers. What is important for me is following the path of law. We do not have any intention of displeasing anyone, but it happens sometimes. We strictly go according to the rule of law and welfare of people is important. I don’t have grudges against anyone. Moreover, I know what the consequences are. It’s cyclical. Good and bad things happen and it’s part of life. On many occasions, no action has been initiated even after filing a complaint as we did not find any evidence. We haven’t even touched those people.

How do you feel to be a result-oriented officer?
People have tried to put a black mark on my career. CBI has given it in writing to the Karnataka government that there is nothing against me. I have chosen my profession as my first priority, even over my family. Young police officers should be more effective and creative. I speak to all cadres of police department, from constables to top officers. This will in turn serve as an encouragement. I have touched 50 years of age. However, my style has not changed, and I have not slowed down.

How did you manage to get breakthroughs in high-profile cases?
Our officers are capable of doing good work. I have only provided good leadership and they come up with fantastic output. I have not changed the cadre and I work along with them. I am not the person to sit on the chair and order. I involve in deep discussions with officers who come up with good suggestions and solutions to challenges. I remember how Naxals were made to flee to Kerala by young officers. I lead them from front. It makes a huge difference.

Your efforts in bringing back public money in Ponzi schemes are appreciated. Are you happy?
I am not satisfied. Investors’ money has to be given back, otherwise, whatever action taken is of no use. Until and unless they (investors in Ponzi schemes) get their money back, I am not satisfied. Public needs to be alert and aware that such schemes do not exist after 6 months or a year. Ponzi companies cannot sustain their interest rates. Though the police department has no direct control over handling of fraud companies, I had passed on the message to the cops to be vigilant of such companies. It is the Registrar of Companies and Cooperative Societies which gives them licences.

You were an appointee of the previous government. Were there any differences when the BJP took over?
Irrespective of who or which party is heading the government, I have sincerely and passionately done my job. I have worked under all political dispensations. My focus is only to serve people and bring good reputation to the government.

Do you think you are vulnerable to the existing political situation in the state?
Whenever, wherever and however long I have worked, I have given my best. I have served earlier under CM B.S. Yedyurappa as Joint Commissioner (Crime) and DCP (South). I have worked as Additional Commissioner of Police during the Congress rule. Under H.D. Kumaraswamy’s government, I worked as Additional Commissioner (Crime) and as the Police Commissioner. I always work towards bringing a good name to the government by delivering people-oriented programmes.

What were your dreams for Bengaluru?
My dream was to bring in international standards of policing in Bengaluru. We hear a lot about LAPD, NYPD, policing in Singapore and Sydney. Considering our infrastructure even if we are close to 10-20% of international policing standards it will be great here. My focus was on predictive, hotspot and evidence-based policing. Digitisation of evidence, victim protection, and victim assistance and victim advocacy seemed some of achievable proximate goals within the limitations. If any city in the country has the capacity to achieve the standards of international policing, it is Bengaluru. People should have discipline and responsibility. All the time the police can’t give dos and don’ts for the people.

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