Political Diary: Police and Politics – Latest News from Jammu and Kashmir | Tourism
Poonam I Kaushish
A sub-trial rots in Kolkata jail and is found innocent after 32 years, a Tamil father-son is arrested, tortured, pronounced dead for keeping his mobile shop open for 15 minutes until curfew hours, a minor is raped in the capital Delhi. A chilling daily reality of the police wreaking havoc with horrifying impunity, behaving like bloodthirsty katils with the state maintaining a deafening silence.
Prime Minister Modi underscored this stark truth when stressing the need for urgent sweeping police reforms when convening Rashtriya Raksha University in Gujarat last week. Claiming “There is a negative perception about the police that you have to stay away from them… whereas the mool mantra should be that you have to be tough on those who incite society and soft on society in general.
His call for change is commendable. But it is a utopian dream and a big challenge because many leaders have echoed the same and many commissions have been set up, all of which have come to nothing. Mainly because since the British era, the police only know how to wield a lathi against people, as they are governed by the Police Act 1861 which gives them a negative role: the protection of the establishment.
There is no point in claiming that the state has withered because policing is a matter of state in which governments often rely on the police to perform extracurricular duties, including setting the course. politically sensitive affairs as state leaders control allocations and transfer levers. Therefore, the police misuse and grossly abuse their powers.
Shockingly, the vardiwallahs defy logic and accountability. “Compromises have become commonplace as threats of transfers to ‘meaningful’ posts, demotions and suspensions force most police officers to toe their mai-baap political line. Consequently, they are used as instruments of partisan agendas by the parties in power for their unsavory and hostile ends to the citizens”, confides a senior police officer.
A Police Commission report says it all: “60% of arrests are unnecessary, 30% of deaths are wrongful and wrongful and police action accounts for 43.2% of prison spending. They believe that the vardi gives license and power to intimidate and is the law. Consequently, the police became more powerful, less accountable, and the checks and balances, a prerequisite for democracy, were removed.
Want to get rid of someone? Call the “Atyachari Police”. From rape to “out-of-court settlements”, fake encounters and deaths under torture, he captured it all with pinpoint accuracy. Send petrified shivers down your spine. And we call ourselves a civilized society!
Refuse the Supreme Court’s 2006 guidelines for police reform in the Prakash Singh judgment that has been shelved and forgotten. A big deal if there are political costs to not meeting popular expectations of law and order. Lalu’s RJD and Akhilesh’s Samajwadi remain marked by the perception of great anarchy when in power, while Yogi’s free hand to the police to act against offenders unhindered by local bigwigs of the Party was working electorally in his favour.
Are the police guiltier than sinning? Are the main culprits politicians? The truth is halfway. The two work in tandem to further their own self-interest, which makes the system self-perpetuating. Thus, the criminalization of politics has turned into the politicization of crime and political criminals. Leading to a complete brutalization and dehumanization of both.
An example: A Complainant will file an FIR. The SHO refuses to register the complaint if it concerns netas, rich and powerful or asks for money, threatens and chases him away. Complainant woman assaulted and raped, witness in various particularly notorious states of UP and Bihar.
If the FIR is against a corrupt cop, God help you. Who will investigate it? How will the evidence be collected? None of his tribesmen will, given the general tendency to protect his own. Leave the complainant with limited options: Highlight their plight in the media, write to a higher authority, and hope someone takes notice.
Modi sounded the trumpet of reform: stop political influence, change the mentality of the police, improve the public interface, prevent politicization, criminalization and corruption. The supremacy of the rule of law must be clearly stated and law enforcement must have the legal ability to disregard any instructions contrary to this. At the same time, its administration and supervision must remain exclusively under the responsibility of professional supervisors to highlight the vardi exists for the service of aam aadmi.
Moreover, excessive centralization should be replaced by complete decentralization and functional autonomy given from SHO upwards with goals and objectives set with people’s cooperation. Resident welfare associations should help set priorities and goals. Prescribed standards for police recruitment, training and emoluments, etc., also need drastic revision.
Where does India’s salvation lie from this leech-infested political-criminal-police nexus? With citizens clamoring for accountability and accountability for Netagan, it is imperative that we set our priorities. Simultaneously, there is a need for a new age police officer who is more professional, better motivated, equipped and trained with the latest technology and tactics.
Clearly, unless policy changes, police departments may not benefit from a modernized and trained workforce that is adept at using the latest technologies and a human approach that invokes trust between people. Police leadership must move from quantity to quality. Six sub-inspectors are better than 25 semi-literate, poorly paid constables at preventing and detecting crime in a thana.
Skilled officers should be posted to “difficult” areas and given a stable tenure of at least three years to make a difference, along with improved weapons and greater mobility. More than numbers, you need a human psyche, officers who know how to talk to young people and who have negotiation skills during unrest.
A revolutionary change in the operational command of the police is the need of the hour, because simply saying nonsense, outdated and confusing platitudes and formulations will no longer work. Central and state governments need to think beyond the headlines. Bottom Line: When the going gets tough, there’s no easy option. Tough times call for tough actions. If not, get ready for a happy trigger nation! Kiska danda aur kiski lathi? —- (INFA)