India, i.e. Bharat, from the past few months has been witnessing multiple issues both on domestic and international front. Be it the deteriorating economy or the Kashmir conflict or the countrywide outcry on the CAA, NPR and NRC, the government is doing its work in its own ways and a considerable chunk of population is questioning on multiple agendas, which is usually expected of a flourishing democracy but if we zoom in on the status quo, it’s a stampede.
A stampede with people of the country, no matter good or bad, being trampled mercilessly. The politicians are witnessing a rich harvesting season and law enforcement agencies are no better than the spectators amidst such a chaotic situation in the country.
The Indian Police is struggling hard to even maintain its credibility. There have been multiple events in the recent past where there has been no accountability from their side. I think it would take me days or weeks to write if I start to dig deep but for an understanding. So, let’s analyse the major events in the last three months relating to police and ask the questions to ourselves.
The month of November started on a very bitter note for the Indian Police. The whole nation saw a car parking conflict between a cop and a lawyer taking an ugly turn and intensifying into a riot like situation.
The clashes, the violence, the destruction of public property and intentional violation of laws inside the temples of justice. The country, for the first time, saw ‘cops in uniform’ picketing their own headquarters.
We saw policemen crying on TV. We saw cops looking for answers. We saw senior police officers and bureaucrats evading accountability and failing to take a side or even resolve the matter through a dialogue. It was a huge embarrassment to the department as well as the government who runs it but worse was yet to come.
The December of 2019, too, came to India on a very dark note. A vet was mercilessly raped, burnt and killed in a case of an absolutely inhumane incident. The nation instantly got furious about the rising cases of rape all over the country, especially in the national capital.
There were protests against the government all over the country. Peace marches were organised. Demonstrations were held. Even the central government was seen taking a firm stand on the ‘heinous crime’ and state governments presenting new methods for protection of women.
Just as our country was thinking about solutions, on the sixth day of the same month, India woke up to an encounter. All the suspects in the rape case were brutally shot and killed on the spot as they were trying to escape, during the process of reconstruction of crime scene, along with the weapons that they snatched from the police itself.
Even if the police is to be believed without a doubt, the incident raised some serious questions not only about police but about its politicos and general population as well.
How can 4 people, who don’t even look physically sound, snatch guns from the police personnel?
How can they do such a thing keeping in mind that they are accompanied by a police force? How come not even one suspect was shot on their knee caps and all were killed?
How can anyone including politicians, people, actors, etc. laud such sheer failure and utter carelessness on the police’s part? The questionnaire is too long to fit in an article.
I wonder how easily people forget the news.
Nobody thought of the Ryan International School murder case, when a Class II student was brutally murdered and it turned out after a month that the police’s prime suspect (who was arrested), a school bus conductor, was innocent and it was another school boy who did it.
I wonder if he had been killed in the same manner as these four, would it have been equal to treason? Although, the people would still have lauded it. This is why I believe everyone needs to think of both ways and not choose sides in the matters of life and death.
Us Indians were just thinking about reforms and remedies when the third bolt of lightning struck.
In the wake of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, nationwide protests were orgainsed to express dissent. Most of the protests, initially silent, transformed into violent ones when there was a clash among students of Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi and the Police.
It was seen in footage that students were beaten mercilessly, even in the bathrooms and libraries. One person even lost an eye due to the injury and several lay on the floors, injured and bleeding. The police, once again, was under the scanner.
The people of the country and many student organisations held demonstrations. People came out in support of the students and raised questions on the police, like how did the police enter the premises without proper orders? Why did the police have to use force so brutally?
Yet again, no one was seen taking accountability or talking about students. The authorities engaged in a blame game instead. The flow of the wind was on the verge of a shift when another jolt hit us.
Despite the protests against the violence in Jamia Milia Islamia, anti-CAA protests in Jawahar Lal Nehru University, a pre-existing fee hike issue also was going on alongside in Delhi. As a part of the protest, the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) boycotted the examinations and registration process. Some students allegedly even broke into the server room and disabled the server to stop the registrations so that the Vice-Chancellor was forced to come out and talk to them.
Amidst all this, a meeting of students and even teachers was called out to maintain a consensus for the protest against the fee hike and discuss issues involving the same. Soon, masked people entered the campus in broad daylight, destroying whatever came their way and hitting whoever they saw.
The police, who was standing at the gate, now started to wait for instructions from the VC to enter while innocent students were thrashed in the worst way possible. Security guards were terrorised. The glass doors stood broken, rooms stood vandalised and people, scandalised.
On top of that, video recordings showed that the masked goons were even given safe passage by the police itself. In an infamous JNU sting operation, one person who identified himself in the viral videos as one of the attacker, even went on to say that a policeman on the gate himself told him to go and create havoc. He goes on to say that “everyone knows who owns the police.”
Police entered the JNU campus after the show of brutality was over and like every single time, made promises to solve the issue ASAP. It’s been weeks but nobody has been arrested till date.
JNU is still under strike by the students but blows to the police’s didn’t stop at this.
With the new year came another disastrous day.
The police and government hadn’t even taken a breather when the news of a DSP being arrested in Jammu for ferrying two top militants to Jammu flashed on the idiot box.
DSP Davinder Singh, apparently, was enroute to Delhi to provide safe passage to two terrorists who had conspired a terror plot for Republic Day later this month.
The statement from the department itself unearthed the incompetence of the police and loopholes inside their system.
I know that every pond has a rotten fish. I know there can be a black sheep anywhere, but isn’t this is a major failure?
In a time when country is struggling so hard to fight terrorism, insurgency and other internal security challanges, an officer with a ‘dark record’ getting arrested transporting terrorists is a scene that looks lot like it came out of a movie sequence.
These observations cannot be ignored at any cost. Expecting transparency from the people, who are recruited into the system to protect us, doesn’t seem bad to me. Questioning my nation’s institutions makes me feel more nationalistic.
Bias of any kind is totally unacceptable from a cop. They have their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), their penal code, their jail manuals and a full fledged system to support them. All they’re expected to do is to follow them no matter how hard the conditions are and no matter what toll it takes on them.
They need to be tested on their skills after a considerable interval of time. Proper counselling can be made mandatory every year. Frequent grievance addressal sessions should be held. Manuals and SOPs be updated regularly and awareness should be raised. Committee reports be taken seriously and worked upon. Maybe some phone apps can be a good start.
We are not that poor a country. These things can be done easily and without spending much. The challenge is to embed this sense of responsibility among the cops and it needs to be done with immediate effect. None should rest until every cop is trained to maintain a ‘scientific temper.’
Women shouldn’t be scolded for smoking. Cops shouldn’t be beating anyone up in public, which is common in India. The behaviour of police towards citizens is one thing that really needs to be fixed.
We can think of innumerable ways to make the system better. All it takes is one good guy and the revolution can come. I’m writing this for that one guy to take up the responsibility and show everyone how its done. Anticipating a bright future for India is of no use if you choose to lay back. It’s time to stand up for our nation and do whatever is in our hands, to make it a better country. Every action counts.