Naval Bajaj is an IPS officer of 1995 batch. He was born in Kanpur and completed graduation from Delhi University. His first posting was in Washim District as Assistant Superintendent of Police in 2000. He was in Pune as SP for 2 years. He worked as DCP Zone – 1, DCP Zone – 2 and ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) in Mumbai. He served as SP in Thane (Rural) from 2007 to 2009. After 2009, he was on Deputation in Delhi and Mumbai. Currently, he is Special Inspector General of Konkan Range.
Nityanand Pandey & Purvaja
Kindly tell us about your school and college days and where were you born and bought up?
I was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. My father was in service. He was in Coal India Limited. And got transferred mostly to three places Bihar, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh where coal mines are more. I completed my 10th from Ranchi and 12th from Calcutta. I graduated from Delhi University. I was in 1995 batch IPS.
Share your memories of 1995 batch? Do you still meet your batch mates?
Yeah, we have our social media groups and we often interact with each other and remember those joyful days. Sometimes, We happen to meet during conferences and Seminars or have meetings also.
Tell us about the places you were posted?
In 1995, I was a provisional in Thane district. Then, from Thane I went to Jalgaon as ASP (Assistant Superintendent of Police). My first Zilla (District) was Washim zilla. In 2000, I became SP. After Washim, I went to Pune as SP and stayed in Pune for 2 years. After Pune, I came to Mumbai and over here; I worked as DCP Zone – 1, DCP Zone – 2 and ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad). Then, I went to Thane as SP from 2007 to 2009. After 2009, I was on deputation in Mumbai and Delhi. After my deputation, I was appointed again in Mumbai as Additional CP (Protection), Additional CP South region and Additional CP (Special Branch). In 2004, I joined Maharashtra Police Academy. In Maharashtra Academy, I was there for 3 years and I had the best moments from this academy. The most satisfying and fruitful things which I experienced in my service journey was from Maharashtra Academy.
What are the major challenges you are facing as Konkan IG?
Actually, the main thing in cities like Mira – Bhayandar, Palghar, Vasai, etc. is that the people face problems same as people face in Mumbai City. But, the powers are like of rural areas. In Mumbai, powers that police have for controlling the crime, for its prevention and for improvisation, those powers are not with rural police. Therefore, despite the problems in Mira-Bhayandar are same as of Mumbai, the police powers are not as specialised as of Mumbai Police. This creates difference in quality of policing. Due to this most of criminals from Mumbai get into these areas and doubles our problem. For us, it becomes difficult to keep such minute surveillance. The main difference in Mira-Bhayandar is, there are 500-600 police officers, where as in Mumbai where there is no difference between these two cities still there are 1200-1500 police officers in each police station. Mumbai has more manpower than Mira-Bhayandar, which creates limitations and problems. If the numbers of police officers are increased in Mira-Bhayandar, then surely things will be done more fluently.
What are the initiatives taken by you to control crime and corruption in Konkan region?
We try to keep our policing transparent so, that it does not create any problem to the common citizen. Moreover, we try to do our investigation smoothly. Keen attention is required to organise crime so that, Mumbai’s spill over or criminals from different regions do not come in our area. All monitoring is necessary so that no extortion or any criminal offence is done. In addition, the other main thing is that 80% of people in Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai and Virar are from other states. Therefore, to make them feel safe or unharmed we have to take lots of concern for them. We focus on making them comfortable with us so, that they can share the offensive things rather than just being scared.
If any complaint is registered against any offensive person, then what actions do you take against that person?
Whenever any complaints or any issue comes forward, we have our own mechanism to check or to investigate about that. Sometimes, there are some issues, in which we are not able to get proper leads and evidences. In those cases, our normal mechanism does not work; we have to act socially and more deeply to investigate. Nevertheless, we try our best to get the suspect, so that it becomes a lesson for the other criminals. Normally people think that police does not take any action or something if some corruption is done, but I would like to say that, it is not like that. If someone found guilty or lacks investigation they are charged under major penalty, suspension or dismissal.
Tell us about the places you been on Deputation?
Actually, I do not have much to say about those places because; I was in such a department and had such cases, which I am not allowed to discuss in public. However, professionally each department is working well.
Municipal Corporation elections are coming in July, what are the preventive actions which police will take?
Municipal Corporation elections are going to begin. We will go through the History Sheets, criminal records and habitual offenders. Identify the Nuisance makers. We shall take preventive actions against them. If any political complaint is registered against a candidate, proper investigation is done against them. Regular checking goes on any illegal exchange of goods or liquor or distribution of money, which are standard complaints during elections. All the police officers are instructed well during those times to be impartial and tough and to reach up to the citizen’s expectations. We are committed to ensure that the elections shall be Free and Fair.
In Palghar, there are more Adivasi peoples. How do you manage to keep cordial the public police relationship?
In Palghar, there is a big Adivasi area and we have our internal police officers who do village visits. To check and/or to identify the vulnerability of the area and to plan accordingly. People go to Mumbai and other places during day for work and livelihood, at that time crime here is more as compared to night. Therefore, we plan different preventive measures according to that.
If in any police station, a police officer is corrupted or working against the Law and order so, how do you keep your cross check on these things?
Now days, there are many phone applications available. Government has provided websites on which you can find all the information about every single officer. The best use of whatsapp now a day is; if there is any misbehaving or offensive crime going on, people start taking videos and share them through various media. I assure you that none of the complaint is unheard. Because of social networking, we are more acknowledging about small offensive things, which we are not able to track. To track police stations, we have a lot of tracking indicators. Therefore, many police officers are under our surveillance. Moreover, as I said, we try to work as transparent as possible but we make sure that we do the right for the people. Because of their taxes, we are getting our salary, so we are actually true public servants and we will do whatever will be right for them.
Police officers already are shouldering lot of responsibilities. What preventive steps do you take to distress them and subject them to less work pressure?
In Mumbai, in some areas, police duty are been increased to 8 hours. Over there, its fine but, in Mira-Bhayandar and Vasai side, Because of less man power, it definitely creates problem for them. So, from our side, we try to balance the things. We try to keep good positive and healthy environment. We try to take care of their welfare. For a Policeman, the best welfare anyone can give is a holiday. The next problematic thing for police officers is housing. They are posted at such localities, which are far away from the police stations or chowki and waste their hours in travelling. Therefore, some local modification are been done for welfare of the officers.
How do you manage to visit and inspect each and every city in Konkan?
Not all cities are possible to visit. However, we have a format that we have to visit each zilla every month. Especially, in the areas where crime rates are increasing and alarming. We go for surprise visits. Moreover, we have to do all possible works, which are required for reaching to people. In Mira- Bhayandar, SP has to visit once in weeks and IG visits once in 15 days. Because, demands are more. Whereas, in Sindhdurg, there are less complaints filed and less crimes are reported. So, over those places we visit once in a month. In addition, the main thing is; if the unit is working properly in their specific areas then, IG have no role in that area. IG’s main role is to coordinate, to supervise, and to add on the needs of the police officers. If everything is under control then, IG does not interfere in those matters.
What initiatives have been taken and target set up by you for Konkan region?
Mostly, we are paying attention on conviction rate. Conviction rate is the final punishment and justice, which is given to the criminal and the opponent. Some years ago, Maharashtra’s conviction rate was 11%, which now is near 25%. On national level, this rate is not ample. We have 800 officers, so we cannot monitor each police officer but we can track that how much he/she has contributed towards conviction. This helps us see, how a respective police officer investigates. All these things are to stabilize and control the crime rate and it is all done for people. Secondly, in cities like Palghar or Vasi – Virar, over there, many local problems comes across. Therefore, to take quick and timely action against those problems and regular monitoring in those localities is the other main concern. There is thinking now-a-days among people, that mostly police officers take bribe and are corrupt. But, I want to give a message; we all work for the citizens of the nation. If anyone is found guilty, then actions are taken.
Who are your role models?
In my department, I have worked with so many people who have inspired me a lot. One is A. N. Roy; he was well professional in terms of competency and had highest knowledge of everything. He had all the qualities which a CP or DG should have. Many have professional qualities Officers like Bhujangrao Mohite and Arvind Inamdar have lead by example. The one who recently got retired Sanjeev Dayal, has inspired me. Then, Bhushan Kumar Upadhya and many are there who have inspired me and I have learnt many things from those people.
How do you spend your leisure time and which sports do you play?
I am not much playful, I am more into academics. Therefore, whenever I get time I read few novels or articles from Magazines. Moreover, in this age, some exercise is a must, so I do go for jogging but, mostly I do cycling. I even play Badminton and tennis sometimes. Maharashtra Police Academy has published 60 books until date out of which around 30 – 35 books have been published during my tenure.
What suggestions or advice would you like to give to new students who aspire to become IAS/IPS?
If anyone is joining Civil Services because of someone else’s concern then, you may not be interested in your work. Only and only if you want to do something for your society, for the people and for the nation then, this is the best job. In this, you get a decent salary for a decent lifestyle. If, you are comparing your job with the people who are working in multinational companies and comparing with their lifestyle then, things may not work for you. If you are ready to participate in nation building and want to work for the betterment of the people then, please do join these services. In addition, a student should first be excel in their core subject and should choose a line. If, someone wants to go for teaching, so he/she should complete his or her masters or PhD and then should try for UPSC; or if, someone wants to do Engineering, so/she should first do engineering and then should work somewhere for couple of years, gain experience and then should prepare for UPSC. Because, in UPSC, people are from IIM, IIT, CA or many other experienced courses. Therefore, a child should first be in a stable position and then, should give 2 years for preparation of UPSC. It is not necessary to start preparing for UPSC after 10th or 12th. Giving more than 2 years to UPSC is also not worthy, because giving a single thing 4 or 8 attempt does not mean anything. Give your first attempt as your last and crack the jackpot.
What message would you like to give to your department and to our readers?
I would like to say, be strong, be tough, and be honest for the people of the Nation. As it is said, “reputation is built in 1000 years and is lost in Moment.” Public service is all about faith in system and credibility, so keep your credibility high. In addition, for people, I would say if you think there are things that have to be change or improve then please to join us and help us to improve our system internally. Working with us means serving the Nation.