UP: DGP’s Circular Asks Officers to Use Hindu 'Panchang', Cites Rise in Crime During 'Amavasya'
Lucknow: In a bid to curb rising criminal activities and crimes in Uttar Pradesh, the director general of police (DGP) Vijay Kumar has directed police officers across the state to use Panchang or the Hindu calendar to ascertain the period during which crime is likely to rise and increase vigil accordingly.
A circular issued by Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police, dated August 14, says that an analysis of records showed that crimes increased at night one week before "amavasya" (moonless night or new moon) in the "Krishna Paksha" (dark phase), as well as the week after it.
The order, a copy of which is with NewsClick, categorically states, "On analysing the incidents that happened in all the districts... of the state at the headquarters level, it was found that more incidents happen at night one week before and one week after the new moon date of the Hindu calendar. This analysis should be done every month at the level of senior police officers,” the circular, issued along with a copy of Panchang said."
The circular said the new moon is set to occur on August 16, September 14 and October 14, and officers should remain alert a week before and after it.
A week before and a week after the date of ‘amavasya’, crime mapping should be done,” the circular said. It added that night patrolling should be carried out more “effectively”. To understand this better, a copy of Hindu 'Panchang' calendar is also attached along with this circular, the circular reads further.
“Effective crime prevention is one of the top priorities of the police. Through strong policing, an environment of security has to be established among the common citizens in the state. For this, it is necessary that night patrolling should be done more and more effectively, so that the general public can have a sense of confidence in their security,” it said.
The DGP asked police officers to identify crime hotspots and map criminal incidents during this period to formulate a plan to address these concerns. Kumar also directed the local police to design the route plan for Police Response Vehicles (PRV) in accordance with the crime incident analysis. Furthermore, the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) and Dial 112 are to be on alert mode as per the circular's instructions.
Meanwhile, the DGP’s order to curb crime as per Panchang has triggered a debate in the state.
Vibhuti Narain Rai, former Director General of Police, UP, told NewsClick that there was no need to mention the Hindu almanac in the circular.
"It is a fact that crime used to increase a week before Amavasya in the Krishna Paksha and a week after, as every night after a full moon day, the size of the moon keeps decreasing. When I was a police officer from 1978 to 1995, we also increased patrolling, especially in rural areas. The reason was that there was no road and electricity in rural areas and dacoities occurred in such areas. But now I haven't heard of robberies as villages are connected with tar roads and power is supplied at night. It is foolish to talk about the Hindu Panchang. Maybe it was said to please a section," he said.
Rai said the "DGP must have some data which prove his claims that crime increased at night one week before new moon as well as the week after it. Our country has progressed both in terms of structural changes (electricity and road)."
Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer SR Darapuri said, "The police department conducts the crime mapping exercise for identifying areas from where maximum cases of theft, burglary, and robberies are reported. The police put a factor time, date and place while mapping and getting indications. Thereafter, an officer makes a policy to prevent crimes. It is a fact that the dark fortnight falls during amavasya and crime increases in that period but using the word, Panchang, does not make sense."
Another former IPS officer, Amitabh Thakur, said it was clearly visible that for seven years since the advent of the current BJP government in UP, every worthy officer fears losing out in case the Chief Minister gets annoyed with him/her. This sounds like we are still living in some medieval era where superstition and mythologies rule the roost. In short, a section of officers is acting to please their political master and propelling his political agenda, completely intermixed with religious overtones.”
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