The murder of 19-year-old girl who worked at a resort in Pauri Garhwal district has brought the problem of Patwari Police system in Uttarakhand in limelight. A plea has been filed before the Supreme Court to abolish Patwari Police system in Uttarakhand.
The advocate, who filed the plea for urgent hearing, said that the 19-year-old fell prey due to the conflict between General Police and Patwari System.
The receptionist’s body was found in the Cheela canal close to Rishikesh on September 24, six days after her parents found her missing from her room. The woman worked at the Vanantara resort in Pauri district’s Yamkeshwar block owned by expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya. Pulkit and two other employees have been arrested in the case. The victim’s village Shrikot is about 23 km from Srinagar in Uttarakhand.
What is Patwari Police System?
In 1861, the British government had come up with the idea of Patwari Police system to cut down expenses and conferred Patwaris (revenue officers) with the powers of police personnel.
According to Times of India, Uttarakhand is the only state in the country with patwari police system which controls policing in majority part of the total area.
The regular police do not have jurisdiction in hilly regions of the state and revenue department officials like ‘patwari’ (sub-inspector in revenue police) and ‘kanungo’ (inspector) are tasked with the job of policing.
Patwari Police System in Uttarakhand & Receptionist Murder Connection
After the girl went missing, Uttarakhand Police could not search the resort where she was working as the area of resort come under a Patwari police system. Later on September 22, the district magistrate handed over the case to Laxman Jhula Police which worked out the case within 24 hours.
The victim’s family has alleged the patwari who handling the case has not taken action on their complaint. An FIR was also registered by patwari on the basis on prime accused in the case and resort owner. The patwari later suspended on the orders of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
CM Dhami has now directed Uttarakhand Home Secretary and Director General of Police to come up with a proposal to bring areas of revenue police under the regular police.
60% of Uttarakhand’s Total Area Come Under Patwari Police Jurisdiction
Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 but the previous government continued with the system. At present, about 7,500 villages, which form about 60 per cent of the state’s total area, come under the revenue police, TOI reported quoting a senior police official. The revenue police has jurisdiction in 11 districts of Uttarakhand except Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar while it has maximum presence in Tehri, Pauri and Almora districts.