Saturday, June 14, 2008

Police: Protectors or destroyers

In India, the police are still governed by a set of rules that were set up in British times; then the aim of the police was to implement the policies of the ruler against a ruled nation. Looking at the current situation, one would not be faulted for thinking that something similar is the current situation. The police is formed out of the society as we have currently, and assumes that the police is 'THE government' in areas that are away from major cities. If you go to a semi-urban area, then there are only 2-3 centers of power: the local politician of the ruling party, the powerful criminal, the local top bureaucrat, and then the policeman, in cahoots with one, or all of them.
In such a case, a policemen who does not have enough morals or controls would think that he is the local equivalent of all authority, and that any action of his cannot be faulted. If not so, how does one explain the case where policemen can rape a citizen of the country (without worrying that the law will catch up with them):

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday rapped the Haryana police for the rape of a woman in Rohtak allegedly by two constables, saying "when the protectors of the law become perpetrators of crime, the life of the common man becomes miserable".
The Bench also directed the state government to file a detailed status report within two weeks on the circumstances that drove the young mother of two to the extreme step. They said the compensation announced for the minor daughters of the woman "cannot retrieve the honour of the deceased or the family" nor could it bring the victim back to life.

The biggest problem is that even when the victim complained, the police force did not investigate. It is only left to either the victim taking a drastic action like committing suicide; or when the media highlights the case and brings unprecedented public pressure to bear. However, this is not a solution. The solution, as pronounced by the Supreme Court, is to reform the Police Force and bring it under more responsibility.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 2:32 AM