Police in Bihar have been ordered not to use mobile phones or electronic devices, or be active on social media, while on traffic or VIP/VVIP duty, unless it is a special situation.
The order was passed by the Bihar DGP (Director-General of Police) SK Singhal on Tuesday, in a letter addressed to all senior police officers in the state.
Police officers or personnel found violating the order will be hauled up on disciplinary charges.
The DGP's concern, and order, comes amid a number of complaints and reports about police personnel who appear to be too busy on their smartphones and mobile devices while in the field.
"At different parts of the city we can see these policemen busy playing or talking on their smartphones or messaging each other. This seems to be their prime duty," the order said.
Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) issues notice, directing all officials not to use mobile phones, other electronic devices and be on social media while on duty except during exceptional cases pic.twitter.com/Gl6B9IT2cX— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2021
The order suggests the DGP is keen to ensure that policemen and women stay on high alert while on duty, and be ready to respond to law-and-order situations, or a call for help from citizens.
The order also said the sight of on-duty police - particularly those at busy traffic signals, deputed to VIP/VVIP visits, or sent to control crowds at public events - was affecting the image of the force.
It said such distractions could lead to negligence in police personnel's conduct.
The Bihar top cop's order is similar to that issued by other states in the past.
In September 2019 the Rajasthan government said police personnel deployed to deal with traffic or VIP movement will have to deposit their mobile phones with their senior officers while on duty.
They were also banned from using mobile phones "unnecessarily" while on duty at demonstrations, fairs and festivals, the order said, according to news agency PTI.
With input from PTI