Policing the police the need of the hour
RNI, New Delhi:
In a meeting of Chief Ministers of various states held at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan recently, Lieutenant Governor – Delhi Tejender Khanna mooted a point that the problems related to efficacy of police force and their efficient functioning cannot be sorted out until the police is removed from the clutches of politicians. When this reporter asked an insider in LG’s office regarding the response to this statement, he said that the LG has made his point clear, thereby making this clear as well that this statement met with lack luster response from the political bigwigs assembled there.
No doubt, the Lieutenant Governor has made a pertinent point. On the contrary, the Delhi Chief Minister, whenever quizzed about inefficiency of police force, makes it a point to stress vehemently that the police force should be brought under the CM’s ambit.
LG may have presented a sincere solution to the problems that plagues the police personnel but the relevant question is whether the politicians who feel safe to boss over the regulating agencies will ever be willing to lose their stranglehold over them.
Question arises that if a policeman in Muzaffarnagar hangs a year-and-a-half old child from the terrace or another policeman slaps a lady in Delhi, where are politicians to be blamed. Since long, the policemen had been giving the excuse of low pay-checks, irregular and long working hours and over stress for each and every blame that was put on them. The new pay commission has ensured fatter pay to all Government employees, including policemen. The matter of long and irregular work hours too has been sorted out to an extent. But the willingness of the lower-level police personnel to seek additional income in the form of bribes has not diminished as yet. Whereas the workforce in private companies has to work longer hours at lesser pays, there are neither so widespread problems of stress nor those of bribery.
This is why the people in the know back LG for his statement. The real stress comes out of handling and managing all the valid and invalid demands of the politicians. Handling the invalid demands also endears them to politicians and creates a sense of security, which emboldens them to break law and shirk duty.
Ranjan Mukherjee, OSD to the Lt. Governor puts forth another relevant point. “True that there are a lot of fault lines but the Police cannot be insulated from the rest of the citizens. There is a general deterioration of morals and ethics in all sections of society. Lot of vigilance enquiries, sackings and other corrective actions take place within the police which we do not hear from outside. To emphasize his point, Mukherjee cites the recent case of policeman slapping the girl where CP took immediate action not only against the officer but also initiated an inquiry into alleged late filing of FIR.
Mukherjee says that post 16-12 LG has enhanced lot of emphasis on training, gender sensitization and providing of courteous treatment. The spurt in crime cases against women is partly due to the strict instructions that all such cases be registered.
Mukherjee tells further that LG has issued strict directives to Delhi Police. Sudhir Yadav, Addl. Commissioner is meeting all political and social organizations on weekly basis. Largely due to these measures taken recently, the process for change has started, says Mukherjee, but adds instantaneously that it’s still miles to go before we sleep.
It’s not just the LG who feels that police needs to be freed from politicians. Social Workers Association, a NGO based in Delhi too has in a communiqué emphasized on the need to de-politicize the police forces. It says that various independent studies have shown that several other Government departments are far more corrupt than the Delhi police. If there is anger against the police, it is more due to political build-up. For instance, Vijay Goel and Arvind Kejriwal are leaving no stone unturned to paint the police in the dark.
Avers Nikita Doval, Special Correspondent with The Week that leaving the path of social welfare state that we once used to be, rampant corruption, wide scale discrepancy in earnings and the neo-rich culture which believes in flaunting their power and money have created large extent divisions in society, which are hard to remove. The police force has remained one and the same over the years whereas crime of all sorts, including crime against women have risen steeply and therefore mere regulating the police force or bringing in harsher laws won’t make much of a difference. Hailing from the hills, Nikita sees this as a more cosmopolitan problem and says that if the problem has reached smaller towns and villages to some extent it is because of TV which has carried its evils there.
However, Nikita agrees to the need to improve upon the functioning of police and cite at a lot many problems that need to be rectified.
Ranjan Mukherjee too is of the opinion that policing the police is the need of the hour. Discipline, alertness, corruption and other such issues need to be taken care of on immediate basis if we are to give Delhi a better police system.
Real News Intl News Bureau