Pune, Feb 19: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil today announced that following the recent Supreme Court directives, the government will set up the State Security Council with the aim of giving autonomy to the state police force.
After releasing the book 'Police Sudharna: Pravas Aswasthatecha', authored by Pune Police Commissioner Jayant Umaranikar here, Mr Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, said ''The government is of the view that police department should be given more autonomy.
And to bring it into reality, I announce that the State Security Council will be set up soon.'' Pointing to the suggestions in Mr Umranikar's book on effecting reforms in the police department, he asked ''Why can't the department have promotions on the basis of merit and not seniority?'' Mr Patil's remarks assume significance in the wake of speculations over who will assume the most-coveted post of Commissioner of Police (CP) Mumbai, which will become vacant soon after the retirement of the incumbent D N Jadhav at the month end.
The Minister said ''Mr Umaranikar's promotion is very close now.
But, at the moment, I won't go into details, sparking off speculations.'' It may be noted that Mr Jadhav and his predecessor A N Roy were Pune Police Commissioners before their appointment as Mumbai Police Commissioners.
Mr Patil also promised to lessen the workload on the police force involved in non-policing duties.
''Attempts will be made to reduce the excess burden on the police,'' he added.