Pakur (Jharkhand): In 2017, Shailendra Prasad Varnaval, the SP of Pakur district in Jharkhand, had launched an innovative scheme christened ‘Coffee with Cop’ in the district. The objective was to enable the policemen to interact with the commoners, know their concerns and solve their problems.
The programme is held at all the police stations of the district on the 1st and 16th day of every month. More than 30,000 persons have had Coffee with Cop in the district so far.
No budgetary provision
However, the SP is now facing troubling questions from the government. He has been asked to explain under which rule the sessions are being held, what benefits have accrued from them and have they helped reduce crimes. Most importantly, he has been asked to explain the source of funding for the programme. “As there is no budgetary provision for the scheme, you are directed to state from where the expenses being incurred on the coffee sessions are being met,” the communication from the government to the SP said.
Dileep Kumar Jha, the deputy commissioner of the district said that the programme was being run without government’s permission. “The government wants to ascertain whether its objective is to reduce crimes or just gain cheap popularity,” he said.
Incidence of crime has come down: SP
The SP, on the other hand, says that the programme was launched at the directive of the then chief secretary, who had asked the field-level police officials to devise some way for establishing direct contact with the people.
“It is a very popular programme and it has brought down the crime graph in the district,” the SP insisted.