By Nitum Jain:
An Indian Police Service officer Narendra Kumar Singh, posted in the Morena District of Madhya Pradesh, met with a tragic end yesterday. The incident occurred this afternoon when Singh noticed a stone-laden tractor-trolley while patrolling in his jeep, he overtook it and tried to get the driver to stop the vehicle. After one unsuccessful attempt, the 30-year-old officer overtook the heavy-duty vehicle again and this time stood in front of it to make the driver, identified as Manoj Gurjar, bring it to a halt.
However, Gurjar instead accelerated and ran over him, crushing the IPS officer under the wheels. Singh was rushed to the hospitals but was declared dead on arrival.
The young officer had been known to take on the mining mafia in the region head-on since his posting in the region last month. He had been working to eradicate the illegal mining practiced in the area by seizing several trucks carrying illegally mined stones and sand. Speculations and allegations suggest that the entire episode was premeditated and the mining mafia had him purposefully ‘removed’ to continue their ‘business’.
Gurjar has been arrested and a case has been registered against him under section 302 in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
This is not the first time that the mafia have killed someone acting as a road block for them. In November 2003, a project director of the National Highways Authority of India, Satyendra Dubey was killed by the road mafia for not letting them operate their businessÂ properly. An year before this, Navleen Kumar, a human rights activist in Maharashtra was killed by the land mafia for fighting to protect the tribal rights.
In a similar case in 2005, a marketing manager for the Indian Oil Corporation, Shanmugam Manjunath was killed by the oil mafia in for ordering the sealing of 2 petrol pumps selling adulterated fuel in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Just like the above, this is one of the many such cases we hear in the passing and soon forget. The Indian Police is infamous in the citizens’ eyes as the most corrupt section of the country’s system after the politicians; this incident just proves that true by simply highlighting the fact that the honest ones do not survive for long.
A law enforcement officer is not just the upholder of law but also the guardian of the people of the nation, cases such as this show how the guardian himself is not protected enough by the state, there is not much hope left for the everyday citizen of this nation. Narendra Kumar Singh is just one of the many names that have fallen victim to the crime in the country and the mafia bosses continue to conduct their activities as India is yet to take into serious consideration the protection of its law enforcement units or take initiative when it comes to crimes against them.
Taking example of the United States of America, a country with the crime rate ever increasing, we see the importance that is given to the cases of assault or killing of a police officer. Such cases become top priority during investigation and the jury system of the country ensures a harsh punishment for the felony. The country is clear when it comes to the protection of its protective forces, be it by supplying all kinds of protective equipment for their use or by leaving no stone unturned to catch and prosecute the perpetrator of a crime against the law enforcement. The nation has an online page by the name of Officer Down Memorial Page where each officer who died in the line of duty is not only honoured, but this page can also be used by the public wherein they are informed about which of the criminals in such cases have a parole hearing coming up soon, and an option of submitting an online “NO PAROLE” petition is provided to all citizens.
The point here is that an example is to be set in all seriousness about how big a crime it is to launch any sort of attack on a police officials, or any whistleblower in that case. To discourage any person from committing a crime there needs to be a system that instils in him the fear of the law; the law enforcement is that system. The system itself can’t be vulnerable to the criminals to be of any effect and there needs to be a stronger protective mechanism developed in our nation to provide safety to the officers so that they can carry out their duties efficiently without the fear of being slaughtered in the process. Dirty politics often brings suffering to the whistle-blowers and the honest men in the system like Officer Singh; they are usually effectively purged out of the system and are lost to the piles of pending cases in the Indian courts while the perpetrators walk among us.
The need of hour thus becomes to create a special provision for cases such as these, to conduct more thorough investigations and to not let the case to be discreetly brushed under the carpet by some influential person on the top level of the political food-chain.