“City Police taking both Preventive and Detective Measures to Tackle Rowdies,” Munna P Gupta, Guwahati’s new CoP
Munna Prasad Gupta, a 1995 batch IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, has replaced IPS officer Deepak Kumar as the new Commissioner of Police, Guwahati.
MP Gupta started his tenure as the sixth commissioner of Guwahati on December 13 following Kumar, who took over charge as the Commissioner of Police of Guwahati in December last year.
G Plus caught up with the Munna Prasad Gupta soon after he took charge as the police commissioner of Guwahati. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Career as IPS officer
Hailing from Golaghat district of Assam, MP Gupta has served in various capacities in Nalbari, Nagaon, Dhubri, Cachar, Darrang, and Sonipur districts of Assam. He has also worked in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Special Protection Group (SPG). In September 2016, Gupta, who served as DIG, SPG, Cabinet Secretariat, was upgraded to IG rank, SPG.
Prior to his posting as Guwahati’s top cop, Gupta was serving as Inspector General in the Special Protection Group (SPG). The SPG is responsible for closely monitoring the security arrangements for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime ministers and members of their immediate families in India and abroad.
Top priority as police chief
Munna Prasad Gupta was appointed as the new city police commissioner amidst massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) when the city's law and order situation had been deteriorating.
Commenting on his top priority as the police chief, MP Gupta told G Plus, "My immediate plan was to deal with the agitations and maintain peace in the city."
"We are committed to maintain peace, prevent crime and maintain law and order situation in Guwahati," he added stating that in the past couple of days, the riots have come under control and no violence have been reported.
Role of police during CAA protests
The Guwahati city police have so far arrested 117 people for indulging in unlawful activities during the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Gupta informed G Plus.
While the protests in Guwahati began peacefully on December 10 after the passing of the bill in the Lok Sabha, the second day of protests went completely out of the control whereby the city witnessed vandalism and hooliganism of frightening proportions where a great amount of public property was damaged – mainly on the arterial GS Road. Road dividers and railings were damaged besides government buses and other vehicles were set on fire.
The city police first started off with providing security to the protestors but resorted to lathi charge, and rubber bullets firing to tackle the situation more firmly.
“Any violence in the city will be dealt with very strongly. The citizens have their constitutional rights but they shouldn’t take law into their hands,” exclaimed MP Gupta.
Plans to tackle rowdies
“The city police is taking both preventive and detective measures to tackle rowdies and miscreants. We are studying the modus operandi and identifying the culprits. We will arrest them and book them under the law,” MP Gupta told G Plus.
He added that police personnel have been deployed in all vulnerable areas, patrolling has been intensified with the aim to increase the visibility of police and technology is being used to act as force multiplier to tackle crimes in the city.
It is to be mentioned here that Guwahati has witnessed a drastic increase in crime over the past few years. According to the data provided by the police commissionerate, as many as 13,757 cases were registered by the city police in 2016. The numbers increased drastically in 2017, which witnessed the registration of 16,038 cases. Further, over 17,000 cases were registered in the year 2018.
Internet ban and its impact
Following incidents of violence during protests against the amended Citizenship Act, mobile and broadband internet services were suspended on the evening of December 11.
Speaking to G Plus about the barring of internet services, MP Gupta said, “There are many anti-social elements in the society who misuse social media during times of crisis.
These miscreants distribute misinformation and circulate violent videos that have a negative impact on the society. The ban on internet was mainly put in order to curb the spread of fake news and calm down the broiling situation in the state.”
He emphasised that the ban was for the greater good of the society as soon after its imposition, the situation in Assam restored to normal.