#India – When will we civilize our cops ?

Our cops continue to brutalize those they are meant to protect—the weak and the vulnerable
G. Sampath, livemint.com
First Published: Thu, May 16 2013. 04 26 PM IST
Moral policing will continue to trump civilized policing, and we will continue to editorialize about police excesses, calling for—what else—police reforms. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Moral policing will continue to trump civilized policing, and we will continue to editorialize about police excesses, calling for—what else—police reforms. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
So it’s happened again. Another woman was assaulted by cops who, as exemplified by the iconic Delhi Police, are determined to be with you, for you, always, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. According to media reports, this time it’s a young girl whose crime was to be found drinking with a male friend inside a car. So the Sahibabad police, which, like all supposedly overworked and understaffed police forces in India loves to do overtime as moral police, detained the hardened criminals and repeatedly slapped the woman around for good measure.
The police’s justification for picking them up was that they were in a compromising state. And their justification for assaulting the girl, a resident of Jafrabad in north-east Delhi, was that she was drunk and abusive. Given these two factors, they had logically concluded that she was a sex worker. And sex workers, as we all know, deserve to be beaten up on sight.
This episode comes in the wake of a number of other such recent incidents: on 18 April, a girl protesting the rape of a five-year-old was slapped four times by an assistant commissioner of the Delhi Police and the whole incident was caught on camera; also in April, a 65-year-old grandmother protesting against police inaction in the case of her granddaughter’s rape was thrashed by cops in Aligarh; on 3 March, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was beaten up by cops in Tarn Taran when she went to them with a sexual harassment complaint; also in March, protesting female school teachers were brutally lathi-charged by the Patna police. The list goes on and on.
Last month, the Supreme Court came down severely on the police’s excesses. “Even an animal won’t do what the police officers are doing every day in different parts of the country,” noted a disgusted apex court. Calling such behaviour “an insult to the country”, it went on to ask the Uttar Pradesh government “Is your government left without shame?” On available evidence, the answer would be “yes”, for the Sahibabad police station does fall under the purview of the Uttar Pradesh government.
So, how do we humanize the animals in uniform such that they inspire respect and trust in the average citizen rather than fear and loathing? We all know the answer to this one: Police reforms, of course! And we’ve known this since when exactly?
A comprehensive review of the Indian police system noted that “the police force throughout the country is in a most unsatisfactory condition, that abuses are common everywhere, that this involves great injury to the people and discredit to the government, and that radical reforms are urgently necessary”. These lines are from the report prepared by the Indian Police Commission of 1902-03. Oh well, we can’t expect things to change overnight, can we? It’s been only 110 years.
And so our cops continue to brutalize those they are meant to protect—the weak, the vulnerable, women, minorities, tribals, homosexuals and the poor.
In its landmark 2006 ruling in the Prakash Singh case, the apex court had directed the setting up of three state-level institutions to make the police accountable to the citizenry rather than the party in power: a State Security Commission to lay down policies and monitor performance, a Police Establishment Board to insulate postings and transfers from political interference, and a Police Complaints Authority at the district and state level where any citizen can lodge a complaint if a cop misbehaves. Apart from these, the Union government was supposed to come up with a Model Police Act that would serve as a template for state governments across the country.
Sounds great.
But you guessed it: while a few states have partially (and grudgingly) complied with the court directives, most have not, and the Model Police Bill is gathering dust in a forgotten corner of North Block.
Committee after committee—Gore Committee on Police Training (1971-73), Ribeiro Committee on Police Reforms (1998), Padmanabhaiah Committee on Police Reforms (2000), Group of Ministers on National Security (2000-01), Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System (2001-03), to name a few—has done all the research needed to be done and we know everything that we need to know about how to fix the rot in our policing system. The question is: Will we ever do it? Does anybody think India will implement police reforms by May 2113?
In a paper published in 1979, the Bureau of Police Research and Development warned of the “inherent danger of making the police a tool for subverting the process of law, promoting the growth of authoritarianism, and shaking the very foundations of democracy.” We crossed this point some 1,000km ago, in my opinion. So, good luck to our democracy.
In the meantime, young girls will continue to be slapped around by cops, moral policing will continue to trump civilized policing, and we will continue to editorialize about police excesses, calling for—what else—police reforms.


Uttar Pradesh forms spl court for all health scams #MUSTSHARE


English: National Rural Health Mission of India

English: National Rural Health Mission of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Neeraj Chauhan | TNN

New Delhi:Criticized for tardy probe progress coupled with acute shortage of officers to investigate cases, the CBI got a relief in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam investigations as the Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a special court for all the health scheme fraud cases.


The UP government issued anotification on August 28, constituting a special court especially for NRHM cases in Ghaziabad. The court of Session Judge Shyam Lal, where the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial is going on, has been designated as the NRHM court. CBI has registered 18 cases so far in the Rs 5,700-crore NRHM scam that has been unearthed in various districts of the state.







10-year-old’s RTI posers stump PMO, Government

NEW DELHI, May 25, 2012

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar, The Hindu

Girl questions father of nation status for Gandhi

When some simple questions came to the mind of Aishwarya Parashar, a
Class-VI student of the City Montessori School, Lucknow, she did not
let them languish unasked. She went seeking out answers through the
Right to Information (RTI) Act. Aishwarya’s inquisitiveness and
willingness to pursue the source of information has yielded, till
date, the establishment of a public library on the site of a garbage
dump and the nation being better enlightened about the Father of the
Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

All of just 10 years, Aishwarya is a confident little girl, who
herself answers a mobile phone and urges those wanting some written
information from her to send her an SMS giving their e-mail ID and
even forwards e-mail and communicates about her work on her own.

“I have so far filed three RTIs with the Prime Minister’s Office,”
she says, adding that “the first one was [a query] about who gave the
order for printing Mahatma Gandhi’s image on currency notes. I was
told in a reply that it was in 1993 following a meeting of the Reserve
Bank of India.”

But it was her subsequent RTI asking the PMO to tell her who conferred
the title of Father of the Nation on Mahatma Gandhi, which confounded
the government. From the PMO, the query went to the Ministry of Home
Affairs and to the National Archives of India, before Aishwarya was
told that “there are no specific documents on the information sought”
by her.

“That was really surprising because I never thought it was such a
difficult question since even our history books taught us that Mahatma
Gandhi was the Father of the Nation.”

The first reference to Mahatma Gandhi as Father of the Nation goes
back nearly 70 years when Subhas Chandra Bose referred to Gandhi thus
in a radio address from Singapore in 1944.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru too had, in his address to the nation
upon Mahatma Gandhi’s death, referred to him as Father of the Nation:
“Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there
is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or
how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father
of the Nation, is no more.”

After getting an unsatisfactory answer to her query on this issue in
March this year, Aishwarya on April 24 asked the PMO who had declared
Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2 as also Republic Day
and Independent Day national holidays. To her surprise, she got a
reply dated May 17 that such orders were never issued.

Favourite query
The question most dear to Aishwarya’s heart was posed by her in 2009.
“That was the time when Lucknow was in the grip of swine flu. There
was a big garbage dump near my school, but I only got to see it one
day when my mother came to pick me up as my cycle-rickshaw had not
come. For the parents there was a separate entrance, and on the way
back home I spotted this dump.”

With the help of her mother, Urvashi Sharma, who is a social worker
and RTI activist, Aishwarya penned an application in her own
handwriting. “I had marked that query on the garbage dump to the Chief
Minister and thereafter the Uttar Pradesh government got the dump
removed, and our school constructed a public library on the site.”

Her father, Sanjay Sharma, is a lecturer.

Aishwarya wants to become a doctor. Asked why, she quips: “Whenever I
go to a hospital, I see that the poor patients have to first shell out
money in order to get treated. I will, on becoming a doctor, go to the
slums at least once every week and provide free treatment to such poor


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