After salary scam, police remove home guards from traffic duties
NOIDA: Nearly a fortnight after Gautam Budh Nagar police’s role in the alleged irregularities related to the disbursal of salaries to Home Guards personnel came under the scanner, the district police have removed the personnel of the auxiliary force from traffic duty.
The district police authorities justifies the move by stating that they now “have adequate manpower for carrying out traffic maintenance duties”.
After the alleged scam surfaced in November, in which it was alleged that the muster rolls of Home Guards personnel were tampered with and fudged to fraudulently withdraw salaries to the tune of around ₹7 lakh, the total strength of the Home Guards personnel has also reduced from 375 to 275 this month.
The Gautam Budh Nagar traffic police had been deploying about 50 Home Guards daily to man the traffic in Noida for the past three years.
Superintendent of police (traffic) Anil Kumar Jha said since Sunday, none of the Home Guards personnel has turned up for their duty with the traffic police. “I have no clue about their absence,” he said.
But explaining their absence, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vaibhav Krishna said the Home Guards have not been considered for deployment for traffic duty due to the “abundance of police force with the traffic police”. “As our own force’s strength is on a par with that of the traffic police, we don’t need the services of Home Guards personnel there right now,” he said.
As per the figures given by the GB Nagar district commandant, a few days before the alleged scam was unearthed, 375 Home Guards, including 10 women personnel, were deployed in the district at a daily wage of ₹672 per person. While 50 of them were working with the traffic police and around 20 at the district collectorate, others have duties in other departments, including the magistracy and juvenile homes.
The Home Guards personnel, however, are now cursing their plight. “Our strength has deliberately been reduced. In GB Nagar, the active strength of Home Guards is only 275 now, which is 100 less than the previous month. We thought that after busting the salary racket, things will be better for us. But if we will not be given the these duties, what will we do now,” Ranjeet Kasana, a home guards constable, who was earlier with the traffic police, said.
Another constable, Ranjeet Kumar, said they are unable to understand the reason of curtailing the Home Guards’ strength. “We are in Catch-22 situation now. Opening the lid on this scam brought us relief, but now we have nowhere to go,” he said.