Local Goa News

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Goa’s plain-clothed cops ‘back’ on the job

PANAJI: The Local Intelligence Branch (LIB) attached to state police stations may have been disbanded, but it continues to function, in different names though, even as some senior police officers refer to it as ‘an integral part’ of police investigations.
Local Intelligence Branch personnel are policemen in plain clothes, who assist the investigating officers in probes, gather intelligence and are round-the-clock on the surveillance through their network of informers, a police officer said.

According to police officials, such teams form a key aspect of police stations. However, owing to allegations of corruption, the police department had over a year ago disbanded the LIB. It resurfaced, though, with different names such as detection teams and even to this date, police officers can be heard referring to the term LIB when deputing some policing work.
Many senior officers felt that the decision to disband LIB was taken hastily. However, no one dared to request the department head to do a rethink on the decision. The directives were implemented soon after the decision was announced to disband, a police officer said.
“Soon, the police personnel attached to LIB were entrusted with routine policing duties and seen in uniform,” the officer said. But that continued only for a certain period, till the need for LIB was not felt.
“When it comes to collecting intelligence in a particular case, it becomes difficult when one is in uniform. People just do not cooperate. Apart from that, police personnel in uniform cannot move from place to place without getting noticed,” the officer said adding that LIB teams also develop their own network of informers. Elaborating on LIB, the officer said that police constables form part of such teams and the number of personnel in the team varies from police station to police station. These personnel are said to be the ‘most trusted’ men of the police station in-charge.
“However, there is a need to keep a watch over their activities owing to issues related to corruption,” said a senior police officer. It may be recalled that the LIB was disbanded following allegations of corruption against police personnel attached to LIB in November 2014 after the Crime Branch registered a First Information Report (FIR) against a police constable Melvin Cardoz for extortion and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Cardoz was part of LIB attached to the Porvorim police station. Soon after the offence was registered, Cardoz was suspended. He was arrested and later released on bail. According to police, the accused was allegedly involved in extorting money from tourists and the matter came to light after the victim emailed the incident to the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
While announcing the department decision to disband the LIB, a senior IPS officer had said that it was not the first instance wherein policemen from the LIB were alleged to have been involved in extortion.

NT Network Goa News

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