Alok Mittal, IPS
Bureaucracy Today meets Gurgaon Commissioner of Police Alok Mittal. Our Bureaucrat of the month is a Haryana cadre IPS officer of the 1993 batch who has been instrumental in ensuring communal peace and harmony in Gurgaon and its surrounding areas, specifically the Mewat region. His novel approach of communicating with people has endeared him not just to the general population but also garnered the praise and appreciation of his senior officers.
By Sohini Mukerjee
The night of July 28, 2013 would have gone down in history as one marred with communal violence and bloodshed. However, peace prevailed thanks to the crisis management skills of Gurgaon Commissioner of Police Alok Mittal (IPS:1993) who had the foresight to act in a manner and curtail a situation which could have had catastrophic results. The officer still recalls the night with perfect clarity. “Hariya Heda situated some kilometres away from Gurgaon is a mixed population village in terms of Hindus and Muslims. On Sunday morning we got reports of an alleged cow slaughtering in the area and tensions escalating between the two communities. Rapid action was necessary and it was imperative that the police force handled this matter with sensitivity as a riot situation could have arisen”.
SN Vashisht, Director General of Police, Haryana, gives a lot of credit to Mittal for taking control of this situation. “The Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon, along with his able group of officers worked tirelessly to maintain peace and harmony in Hariya Heda. In such a challenging and provocative situation they maintained their cool and ensured that the situation did not get out of hand. An incident which had the potential of turning into a communal riot was prevented”, says the Haryana DGP.
Mittal ensured that police officers immediately rushed to the area and to calm matters three arrests were also made in the connection with shoot-out and murder. Alok spoke to the villagers and reasoned with them to maintain peace and harmony. “Since taking over as Commissioner one of my main objectives was to reach out to people, especially those in the rural areas. It was due to this that when I reasoned with the village heads they lent me an ear and displayed enough confidence in me to deal with the situation and ensure that justice prevails”, he says.
One of the most senior and decorated police officers of Haryana, Muhammad Akil, IGP, Law and Order, says this about Alok, “Whenever a situation like this, especially one with communal undertones, arises, a lot depends upon how the law enforcement officers deal with it. Alok Mittal realizing the magnitude of the situation led his officers from the front. He personally engaged with the people that night while also arresting the culprits. This combination of swift action and sensitivity ensured that the situation was controlled.”
“As the Kawad Yatra is still on along with the holy month of Ramadan, we wanted to ensure that there should be no leeway for any dispute to arise. I am pleased to say that the situation is under control due to swift police action and peace has prevailed”, says Mittal.
A mechanical engineer from the IIT, Roorkee, Alok Mittal has also been instrumental in introducing summer internships for students every year. Since last year over fifty students from IITs and IIMs have been working with various police stations. His sole focus now is to make Gurgaon the safest city in India. “I agree that this won’t be easy. While we are consistently improving we still have a long way to go before we gloat”, concludes the Gurgaon Police Commissioner.
The work of police officers usually gets attention when there is a huge crisis or when negative criticism is associated with them. However, the toil behind ensuring the safety of people on a daily basis or the success of major events such as the January 26 parade or August 15 celebrations usually goes unnoticed. The ability to avert a situation before it becomes crisis and is highlighted by the media is truly commendable and it is for this reason that the Gurgaon Police Commissioner truly deserves the title of Bureaucrat of the month for August 2013.