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161-year-old Patwari system will end in Uttarakhand, government presented details in SC

The Uttarakhand government has given an affidavit in the SC, which states that all criminal cases in Uttarakhand will now be investigated by the police. All the cases will be sent to the police in a phased manner for investigation. The Dhami government is going to implement the 2018 decision of the HC. The Uttarakhand government has told the Supreme Court that it is considering a proposal to bring the areas under the jurisdiction of the regular police, which are currently under the revenue police. The affidavit was filed by the state government in response to a public interest litigation seeking directions to review the revenue policing system regarding the Ankita Bhandari case. The state said the proposal takes into account the financial implications, cadre strength, infrastructure, crime rate, population of the areas and tourist inflow. The state statement said that in the first phase, all heinous crimes including crimes against women, kidnapping, cyber crimes, POCSOs etc. will be immediately handed over to the regular police by the district magistrate.

The District Magistrate will complete the identification of priority areas within 3 months and the process of handing over these areas will be completed within 3 months thereafter. The state has said that the administration will prepare a detailed blue print for the remaining sectors and prepare necessary proposals for upgradation of cadre numbers, infrastructure required as well as cost implications and means of finance. This proposal will be kept for the decision of the state cabinet after 6 months. Meanwhile, DMs will keep a close watch on the crimes reported in their areas and will be assessed for the need to handle each case by the regular police.

In fact, in the year 2018, the Nainital High Court, while hearing a public interest litigation, ordered the complete dismantling of the revenue policing system. The High Court had ordered the implementation of civil policing in the entire state. Against this the state government went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court neither stayed the High Court order nor issued guidelines to the government.

7500 villages under the purview of the Patwari police

It is hoped that now serious crimes like murder in these areas will not remain buried in files. Cases of serious crimes will go to the police. Let us tell you that at present Uttarakhand is the only state in the country where this system is alive. The state’s 7,500 villages are under the purview of the Patwari police. Earlier, there was no need for civil police in the hilly areas of the state, because there was never a large-scale criminal case.

Why is it called Gandhi Police?

In fact, under the revenue police system, the Patwari has only one stick in the name of weapon and a fourth class employee in the name of the police force to compete with the criminals. That is why the revenue police here is also called Gandhi Police.