The opposition in Maharashtra on Tuesday raised concerns over the plan to rope in “contractual personnel” by the Mumbai police and said the ”risky” move will be detrimental to the force as well as to the public.
Raising the issue in the legislative council, Leader of Opposition Ambadas Danve said the control of police should be under the state government.
“It is dangerous and risky,” he said in the Upper House.
Danve claimed adding contractual cops to the Mumbai police force could lead to a “Wagner group” like situation, referring to the Russian private military force’s “rebellion against President Vladimir Putin” last month.
In a dramatic development last month, Russia’s mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin called for an armed rebellion and claimed that his forces had military facilities in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don under their control. While he ordered his troops to head for Moscow, Prigozhin abruptly halted their march later.
“I oppose recruitment of police on contract. It will lead to law-and-order problems. What if the ‘police’ do not obey government orders? A security guard can be on contract, but a policeman cannot be on contract,” he said.
In a bid to overcome a shortage of constables in the Mumbai police, the state government has given the nod to outsource 3,000 personnel from the Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC), a public sector undertaking of the state police.
The state home department issued an order to this effect on Monday, said officials.
In the Upper House, Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap sought to know what fear goons will have of the “contracted policemen”. He also asked about the status of the tests conducted for police recruitment earlier this year.
Talking to reporters on the premises of the state legislature, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Rohit Pawar said the move will be detrimental to both people as well as the police administration. “This (contractual police) is creating a smaller brother of Agniveer (recruits under Centre’s Agnipath scheme),” Pawar said.