New Delhi: A whopping 5.28 lakh police posts are lying vacant in the country of which nearly 1.29 lakh are in Uttar Pradesh, 50,000 in Bihar and 49,000 in West Bengal.
There are 23,79,728 sanctioned posts in police forces of all states of which 18,51,332 were occupied as on January 1, 2018, according to Home Ministry statistics.
On that date, a total of 5,28,396 posts were lying vacant, a Home Ministry official said.
Uttar Pradesh, which has a sanctioned strength of 4,14,492 posts in its police force, has an actual strength of 2,85,540 personnel. The state has 1,28,952 vacant posts.
Bihar has an actual strength of 77,995 personnel against a sanctioned strength of 1,28,286 posts, leaving 50,291 posts vacant.
The West Bengal Police has 48,981 vacant posts in its sanctioned strength of 1,40,904 and Telangana 30,345 vacant posts in its sanctioned strength of 76,407 personnel.
Interestingly, the Nagaland Police is the only force in the country which is overstaffed as it has 941 more personnel than its sanctioned strength of 21,292 posts.
Officials attributed the large number of vacancies to reasons like slow recruitment process, retirement and untimely deaths. Maharashtra has 26,195 posts vacant in its police force of 2,40,224 personnel and Madhya Pradesh has 22,355 vacant posts in its total strength of 1,15,731 posts.
The Tamil Nadu Police has 22,420 posts vacant against its sanctioned strength of 1,24,130 personnel.
The Karnataka Police has vacancies of 21,943 posts in its total sanctioned strength of 1,00,243 personnel, the Gujarat Police has 21,070 vacant posts in its total strength of 1,09,337 and the Jharkhand Police 18,931 vacancies in its total strength of 79,950 personnel.
Rajasthan has 18,003 vacant posts out of its total sanctioned strength of 1,06,232 police personnel.
In the Andhra Pradesh Police, out 72,176 posts, 17,933 posts are vacant, while Haryana has 16,844 vacant posts in its sanctioned strength of 61,346 posts.
Chhattisgah has 11,916 posts vacant in its sanctioned 71,606 posts, while the Odisha Police has 10,322 vacant posts against its sanctioned strength of 66,973 posts.
Insurgency-hit Assam has 11,452 vacant posts in its sanctioned strength of 65,987 personnel while Jammu and Kashmir has 10,044 posts vacant in its sanctioned strength of 87,882 posts.