Make the world accept your views through your conviction and proofs | Top cop turned educationalist Abhayanand

A 1977 batch IPS Officer, Abhayanand was appointed as the 48th DGP Bihar on 25 August 2011 and continued on his post till June 24, 2014

Super 30 is a free tutorial programme conceptualised by Abhayanand to prepare poor children for IIT entrance test.

 

Former DGP of Bihar Abhayanand, who is credited for bringing major changes in the Bihar Police force, is also widely known as a cop who never used his service revolver in his 35-year career.

Abhayanand is the brain behind the speedy trial and convictions of criminals in Bihar. He also came up with the idea of recruiting retired army men to deal with shortage of manpower in the police, which led to the formation of Special Auxiliary Police (SAP).

During his tenure as the ADG of Bihar Military Police, Patna, he motivated the constables to donate generously from their salaries to transform a dilapidated government hospital into a modern nursing home with state- of- the- art facilities for treatment of the police force and their family members.

A 1977 batch IPS Officer, Abhayanand was appointed as the 48th DGP Bihar on 25 August 2011 and continued on his post till June 24, 2014. The top cop turned educationalist has conceptualised the programme Super 30, a free tutorial to coach 30 bright youngsters from underprivileged families of rural Bihar for cracking the IIT-JEE entrance test, in 2003.

In an exclusive interview, Abhayanand shares his experience as a police officer, the development of SAP, the concept of speedy trials and his life after retirement.

Excerpts from the interview:

You are credited for the formation of SAP, the concept that was adopted by other states as well. How did that idea strike you and how did you make it functional?

Right from the beginning of my career, I was committed to bringing developmental changes while being in the framework of law, and I stuck to that throughout my policing career.

When Nitish Kumar joined as the CM of Bihar in 2005, he wanted the police to create a mechanism that would change the general perspective of crime in Bihar. It was then the SAP was designed and launched in the very beginning of 2006.

SAP (Special Auxiliary Police) which consists of retired army men was conceptualised to fill the shortage of manpower in the police. Soon, the concept became a role model and other states such as Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand started recruiting ex-army men.

Why and how did you design the concept of speedy trials and convictions of criminals?

It was also conceptualised during the same time the SAP was adopted. The concept of speedy trials was generated because the police all over the country devote most of its energy and time to protecting law and order and investigating the crime. Trial normally takes the backseat. Right from the start of my career, I was committed towards taking trial to the logical end. Logical end means taking it through to the stage of appeal and serving of sentence. The role of police is to bring the full cycle of trial, appeal, sentence the convict into practice otherwise its role is not valid.

The police service is a relay race; it starts with the legislature-judiciary-executive (police) – and lastly sentence that is known as reformatory.

The police have a close relation with the judiciary and the reformatory, but it does not have much role to play with legislature. Since I was convinced with this role of police, I adopted it when I got the opportunity in 2011-14.

The ‘civil consequences of crime’ scheme was also brought into practice during your tenure as the DGP of Bihar in 2013, tell us something about that?

The “civil consequences of crime” scheme makes details of convicted criminals online by updating their names and case details on the Bihar home department’s website.

The idea was to create ready references for government authorities scrutinising application forms for bank loans, arms, or any other license.

You stand as an example of moral policing.  It is said that in your 35-year career with Bihar police, you never used your revolver, how did you do that?

My force carried weapons and I directed them to use it when required, but I myself never used a weapon even once in my 35-year career.

In a situation of fire exchange, the force relies on your direction. If I am using the weapon, it means I am more concerned about my own safety, which was not my role. As a senior cop, you need to access the situation and make the decision and direct accordingly. I had led around 22 encounters but I never carried my service revolver.

Share some remarkable tasks you have accomplished in your 35 years career.

I was posted in some of the most difficult areas, naxal affected areas, and crime infested areas. In 1981, I was the first SP of Madhepura. Madhepura was carved out of Saharsa in 1981. Madhepura was infested with dacoits. A large number of dacoity cases were reported in the district. Murder and rape cases were not as high as dacoity was back then.

In order to break this chain of dacoity events, I did a thorough research on the cases and found that same people were involved in almost all cases and these people were bailed every time they were arrested. So, I traced the professional sureties, who stood for the convicts and bailed them out.

Finally I got hold of the advocates who certified these professional sureties and slowly I cracked this whole sureties’ cycle. When there were no people to stand as sureties for the convicts, they remained in jail and as a result, the dacoity incidents went down to zero in just three months.

But the Bihar police did not believe that no dacoity case is taking place in the district, so a CID team was sent to investigate the truth. They doubted that I was encouraging non-registration of cases. The team did their investigation and they also verified that the district was free from dacoits. One just needs to apply his/her brain and the solution to every problem is there within the frame of law.

Share a difficult situation that you had encountered during your service.

Every day is a new challenge in a police official’s life, every situation is difficult and we fight it out.

However, if you ask a difficult situation that I encountered and enjoyed coming out of it, then it would be during my posting as deputy inspector general of police, wireless communication. I am talking about the time when there were no mobile phones, and my role was managing police communication.

The police communication system at that time relied on wireless and hot-lines, which was what I had to manage.  The communication was despicable back then; not all police stations even had wireless. A single piece of information took days to reach its destination, and by that time the message reach its destination; it had almost lost its meaning.

But, when I was sent there I thought I had an opportunity to take things in my hand and turn it over. I connected wireless sets to telephone (landline phones). I had majored in physics in my graduation and I used this knowledge to improve the communication system of the Bihar police force. Working with my sub-ordinates who had good technical knowledge, we created the link between wireless and landline phones.

Do you have any regrets or disappointment about any incomplete task?

No, I do not have any regrets. Man has one life to live, I lived, and I played my inning, no regret. However, the radio canopy plan that I had proposed to the Bihar government could not be executed, for which I felt bad.

What is a radio canopy, what was your proposal, and why didn’t it become functional?

I had made a proposal to the government about bandwidth, back then nobody knew about internet and this 2g,3g, 4g didn’t even exist. The plan was to design a radio canopy over the state, a 32 MB, seamless communication system within the state. Tenders were floated and many telecommunication companies had filled the tender which was given to Indian telephone industry. However, it was never processed further and the plan fell apart.
Back then, the budget was Rs 100 crore, the major cost was for the installation of the tower.  Police communication system is still not strong enough, mobiles can fail. Police need an efficient communication system of its own and if the radio canopy had worked out, then it would have been a unique initiative.

You started a unique concept, the Super 30 classes and that has now become a chain with 24 centres all over the country. How did this started?

The concept came through my children. I used to teach them until both of them got into IITs. My son got into IIT Delhi and my daughter into IIT Roorkee.  By the time both of them got into IITs, I had started loving the process of teaching and hence I started the first batch of Abhayanand Super 30 in 2003. Very few knew about it initially, it was only when the students associated with it cracked the exam that more people got to know about it.

How many super 30 classes do you teach personally, and how do you manage the rest?

Rahmani Super 30 and Bhagwatnagar Super 30 are the two super 30s that I teach every day. For the rest of the Super 30 classes I am available on phone and through online. The students call me, message me and ask their queries and that is how Super 30 classes of Srinagar, Delhi, Kanpur, Guwahati, Jodhpur, Thane, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Dehradun, Noida have been functioning and bringing results.

I never tell the students the answer of their questions; I never solve their particular question. I try to make them think, I try to make them reason and open their brains, as a teacher I need to show them the way to crack a question because I will not be there on the final day to solve it, so they need to know the way out of each problem.

I think a person who never gives the right answer, but keeps asking the right question is the best teacher.

How long will you continue this Super 30 classes?

As long as my mind continues to function, I will teach.

In your career span of 35 years, you must have encountered many difficult situations and controversies, mention one such controversy.

One controversial case that I witnessed during my career span was the Brahmeshwar Singh murder case in 2012.

The news got eight-column coverage on newspapers, 4-6 hours live coverage on broadcast Media. It was a high profile murder case; I was criticized immensely by the media for not using force and violence.

What difference do you feel between being an IPS officer and a teacher?

The respect you get from your colleagues and subordinates in police line are somewhere mandatory and a code of conduct. You salute, they salute you back, they salute, and you salute back. But, in this teaching field, there is no mandate. The students shower the respect out of love.

This feeling is very special; this is something I never got in my 35 years of career span as an IPS officer.

Any message for the youngsters

Never be reasonable. If you remain reasonable all through your life, you will remain an average person. If you keep accepting the things that the world throws at you, you will remain an average person.

Make the world accept your views, but not through your authority but through your conviction and proofs. Proofs are your results, keep struggling and keep fighting, do not be convinced by the majority. Beat the majority, be successful, and be unreasonable.

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