To tackle the shortage of police personnel and overburdening the department, the Maharashtra government has decided to recruit 3,000 employees on a contractual basis from the Maharashtra State Security Corporation.
This decision has faced disagreement from opposition parties. Meanwhile, former home minister Anil Deshmukh emphasized the issue of missing girls and women in the state, with 19,553 cases reported in the first five months of 2023.
According to the home department, the Mumbai police force has a sanctioned strength of 40,623, of which around 10,000 posts of constables and drivers are vacant. While the ongoing recruitment drive will fill 7,076 posts of constables and 994 drivers, there will be a shortage of around 3,000 constables.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties have conflicted with contract recruitment in the police force. Leader of the opposition in state legislative council Ambadas Danve said, “Youth of the state have been facing unemployment. Instead of giving government jobs to youths in the police department, why does the government want to recruit personnel on a contract basis? It is a totally wrong decision and the police recruited directly as government servants and should be recruited in due process.”
“The 7,076 constables to be recruited will take at least two years to join the force as they will have to undergo training. Until then, the Mumbai police commissioner has been empowered to recruit 3,000 constables from the MSSC on contract for 11 months,” the order said.
According to Pravin Dixit, the former DGP of Maharashtra, the new hires “will not be joining the police force permanently; rather, they will be working for Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) under an 11-month contract until the actual recruited candidates for the police force return from their training. As required, these contractual candidates will be assigned to banks, metro stations, and other locations.”
A home department official said, “This will help us to fulfil the shortage of the constables in the wake of the heavy chunk of diverted for VVIP bandobast. We are recruiting the personnel from the MSSC following the due process. The process has to be undertaken by Mumbai CP and director general of the MSSC.”
Additional chief secretary Sujata Saunik said, “The decision was taken as per the demand of the Mumbai police commissioner. This has been the third such decision of the Eknath Shinde government to recruit employees on a contract basis. Last year, the government appointed six agencies to recruit technical experts and temporary staff from the open market. Last month, the school education department allowed the recruitment of retired teachers in district council schools until 13,000 newly-recruited teachers joined the service.”
Former home minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh, through a point of information raised in the legislative Assembly, alleged that 19,553 girls and women have gone missing in the first five months of 2023. He said that earlier information was of 5,610 women that had gone missing from January to May 2023, but as per the revised information the figure is 19,553.
Responding to it, Assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar directed the state government to look into the matter. Earlier, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said on July 16, “95% of these women have come back home and the percentage is highest in the country.”