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Loksabha TV Insights: Police under siege?

LSTV Insights – Police under siege?

15/01/2015

In Delhi, police men are being killed time and again by criminals. Also, they are sometimes victims of public rage. It is observed that there is no public outrage when a police officer is killed. This indifference or aversion of public toward police is result of its misuse by political establishment.

Police has been reduced to a mere instrument in hands of politicians to further their ends. In last 3-4 years there has been a spate of protests and peaceful civil uprising against corruption and crime, more particularly in Delhi. In all these police was used by government to skirt their inefficiencies. This has tarnished image of police further.

Further, political bosses retain tight control over the police force and selected personnel, in order to receive benefits and escape the clutches of law. They transfer and appoint personnel at their whims and fancies, which suits their own needs, rather than those of public.

In Delhi, currently 70000 policemen are on duty, out of which half are on VIP duties. There is shortfall of atleast 23000 personnel. There are 130 police stations out of which many are operating in tents or rented houses.

Policing and maintenance of law and order are primary, but not sole, responsibility of Police department. Civil authorities have to ensure proper infrastructure (like street lightning) is in place, due to which crime is curtailed. Further, society has to involve with police and inform about suspicious developments in their surroundings. In fact, in Kerala, there is system of community policing under which a small group of police officials (out of them one is women) pay regular house visits to listen to their grievances and ideas.

In India, there is overall low respect for police unlike that in developed countries like England and Japan. Corrupt image of police results in fear and resentment in public which in turn results non-cooperation. Public doesn’t understand that most limitations on working of Police is imposed by politicians they elect. Indirectly, they are responsible for corruption and inefficiency of police department. But their bad behavior with police, results in disaffection of police with people. So to control public, they use disproportionate force, which further alienate people. This cycle goes on.

There is overall inefficiency in Criminal Justice System and Police is just one part of this system. Main party responsible for this mess is Judiciary’s lethargic performance. Even for minor cases there takes place hundreds of hearings, which unnecessarily increase workload of the police. In order to reform police, reforming judiciary is prerequisite.

There are internal appraisal systems in police department like ‘monthly police report’ under which is submitted to senior authority. This report should be made public so as to better reflect performance of police.

Further, there is need to boost of morale of police men. Last year, AAP gave 1 crore compensation to family of a killed police officer, which was a commendable step. Some time there are naïve allegations at Police for things like fake encounter. These should be only bases on concrete proofs.

Delhi should get police under control of its state government. Only sensitive enclaves of Indian Government should remain under center.

Under 2006 Supreme Court orders (under Parkash Singh Case) states were, among many things, directed to form a ‘State Security Committee’ under Chief Minister. Delhi have such committee but it is dormant.

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