Kashmir’s new police chief to cops: ‘Embrace people-friendly attitude’

SRINAGAR, NOV 13: Vidhi Kumar Birdi, the newly appointed Inspector General of Police (IGP) for the Kashmir region, in a bid to enhance community relations and foster a more approachable police force, has urged all police personnel to adopt a people-friendly approach in their interactions with the public.
Birdi, a seasoned IPS officer of the 2003 batch from the AGMUT cadre, assumed the role of Inspector General of Police Kashmir last week.
As per the officials, after taking charge of the region’s top law enforcement position, the IGP wasted no time in outlining his vision for a more responsive and empathetic police force. He has previously served in various capacities within Jammu and Kashmir, including notable roles such as SSP Kupwara, DIG North Kashmir Range (NKR), and DIG Central Kashmir Range. His experience extends to central deputation, where he served in critical positions like DIG CBI and DIG NIA.
A top police official said that IGP Birdi has held several meetings over law and order and security challenges in the valley. “In these meetings, Birdi stressed upon the officers to make good public relations and focus on people-sensitive policing. Addressing public grievances should be the top priority of the police besides operational and crime-related commitments,” the official quoting IGP said.
“Recognizing the importance of positive community relations, Birdi has emphasized the need for officers to be accessible and understanding in their dealings with the public. People-friendly approach could lead to a more constructive understanding of the challenges faced by the public, ultimately facilitating the swift resolution of their grievances. There is a need for the adoption of modern technology as a means to achieve results-oriented and people-friendly policing,” he said.
V K Birdi, according to the official said, “We are here to serve and protect the community. To do that effectively, we must be approachable, understanding, and responsive to the needs and concerns of the people we serve. I expect each officer to adopt a people-friendly attitude in their daily interactions.”
The IGP has encouraged officers to engage in community outreach programs, where they could interact with local residents, attend community events, and participate in discussions on various issues affecting the community.
The directive from the IGP comes as part of a broader initiative to transform the policing culture in the Kashmir region. The IG believes that building trust and positive relationships with the public is crucial for maintaining law and order in the region.
Sources said that in training programs there is a strict focus on enhancing communication and interpersonal skills for police personnel. “These programs aim to equip officers with the tools needed to engage with the community effectively, resolve conflicts, and address public concerns,” they said.
The IGP’s call for a people-friendly approach has been met with a positive response from within the police force.
Senior officers expressed their commitment to implementing the directive and working towards creating a more inclusive and harmonious relationship with the residents of Kashmir.
Local community leaders and activists have also welcomed the initiative, expressing hope that it will contribute to a more transparent and accountable police force. “This is a step in the right direction. Building trust between the police and the community is essential for a peaceful and secure society,” remarked a prominent community leader.

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