Broken police system- where do we fail?
India is an incredible country but with some broken flawed systems. Say it slow judicial system or the broken police system. For years, even the successive governments have failed to complete its promises to hold the police accountable for torture and to build professional, rights-respecting police forces.
“The Broken police system”
In a report by Human Rights Watch, “The Indian government should take major steps to overhaul a policing system that facilitates and even encourages human rights violations.” The report is conducted on discussions with almost 80 police officers, 60 police tortured victims, and number of discussions with experts and activists. All the officers interviewed by the HRW was fully aware about the boundaries of law and order but many out of them believed that unlawful methods which includes illegal detention and abuse are the necessary tactics of investigation of a crime. Many police officers even confessed to the organization that they routinely commit torture and abuses. So who are at fault at this? If you have police to complaint about then you also need to check their reasons.
According to several police officers they live in filthy barracks or tents for months. They stay away from their family for a long period of time. They lack necessary equipment’s such as cars, mobile phones and other investigative tools. Sometimes the police has to be on 24 hour services. So this together compiles up to create tension and frustration among them. Police officers told Human Rights Watch, they use sidesteps to tackle the workloads. For example, they told how many police officers cut caseloads by not registering the new crime complaints. Sometimes the pressure is so high to solve certain cases that police is forced to take unacceptable actions, as they fear losing their own position. So this together says a lot about where we are heading.
According to a report by Human Right Watch, they gave many accounts of incidents showcasing the broken police system. Two of them are:
“She was kept in the police station all night. In the morning, when we went to meet her, they said she had killed herself. They showed us her body, where she was hanging from a tree inside the police station. The branch was so low, it is impossible that she hanged herself from it. Her feet were clean, although there was wet mud all around and she would have walked through it to reach the tree. It is obvious that the police killed her and then pretended she had committed suicide.”
– Brother-in-law of Gita Pasi, describing her death in police custody in Uttar Pradesh in August 2006.
“We have no time to think, no time to sleep. I tell my men that a victim will only come to the police station because we can give him justice, so we should not beat him with a stick. But often the men are tired and irritable and mistakes take place.”
– Gangaram Azad, a sub-inspector who heads a rural police station in Uttar Pradesh state.
In many cases the police is seen having trouble tackling the mob peacefully, their actions are often tangible. They struggle between political interference as the command does not really function, the MLA’s and Ministers often intervene which disrupt the police chain and their postings. On the other hand many a times Police force is even seen enjoying the liberty they have over the particular incident. So what’s the real reason behind this failure is arguable. Social media plays a huge role in this context. These day’s social media is flourishing over different viral videos of police harassing normal citizens and misusing their power. Recently, a video went viral on Facebook where a police officer is seen beating a rickshaw puller over a little quarrel. Not all such videos are true but on the same hand not all are false either.
Today, in this world full of chaos we see the threat of terrorism looms large. So people have nowhere to rely on other than police. But with this broken police system how can we expect the safety and protection of the civilians? There’s an urgent need for the government to improve the flawed system by providing police with the necessary equipment’s, giving them the right incentives and also holding them accountable for their unacceptable actions. We need to keep an eye on the system to ensure the sound functioning of the system the people choose to rely on. The reforms will enable the police forces to work more efficiently and avoid future failures of the law.