Additional Director General of Police, Bihar, India
Focus: Getting the News Out/Managing Expectations, Building a Reform Team and Staff, Countering Criminal Economies, Containing Patronage Pressures, Accountable Policing
Topics: Internal Accountability, Recruitment, Training
Keywords: coalition-building, media relations, speedy trial
Interviewer(s): Rohan Mukherjee
Country of Reform: India
Location: City of Patna, Bihar state, India
Date: Fri Jul 10 2009
Abhayanand, the additional director general of police in the state of Bihar, India, recounts some notable successes during his tenure, including the recruitment of former members of the military to supplement the police force on a contract basis. The recruitment and amalgamation of former military personnel, specifically to deal with organized crime and extremist groups, quickly addressed a need for greater numbers of trained police. Another notable success was the institution of the "speedy trial," in which it became practice for police to become invested in the judicial process by securing and sometimes protecting witnesses for deposition. Abhayanand also elaborates on the importance of the media as a tool for building public support for reform and improving public perception of the police. He notes that much of the impetus for reform, particularly to curb kidnappings for ransom and installing a general sense of law and order, derived from election promises. One area of attempted reform that was deemed a failure was the rehabilitation of convicts.
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The Special Auxiliary Police
At the time of this interview, Abhayanand was a 1977 batch Indian Police Service officer and was serving as additional director general of police in Bihar state. In this capacity, he oversaw both police headquarters and police intelligence activities. During his tenure in this position, he constituted the Special Auxiliary Police Force by recruiting retired soldiers on contract, a policy that was later adopted by other states.