Judicial inquiry in police high-handedness
The flexing of muscles by the Goa Police at the drop of a hat has to stop! The police are not here to create disorder but to preserve order
04th December 2018, 03:17 Hrs
Jesuin George Fernandes
“While the cat is away, the mice will play”. This appears to be the case with Goa Police, saddled as we are with a headless government and a Home Minister who is out of action.
Even before the dust could settle down on the ugly Fatorda Stadium incident where a youngster was brutally beaten up by a large posse of policemen, yet another incident of police high-handedness or goondagiri has shaken up the State. It is in a situation like this that the absence of an active working Chief Minister, who could intervene and take corrective action is more acutely felt.
Left to themselves, the police hierarchy is bound to be biased and sympathetic towards their fellow policemen.
If not an eyewash , the most one can expect from a departmental inquiry is a suspension which actually means a ‘paid holiday’, only to be quietly reinstated.
Some time back, a video clip went viral on social media: it showed a dead body of a drowning victim laid down on leaves, in the background of which a Goa Police Sub Inspector was abusing and kicking the dead man’s friend, merely for not answering queries to his satisfaction!
What action has the police department taken on this brute of a policeman?!
If victims of police brutalities are to get justice and the police force disciplined, there is a need for a full-fledged judicial inquiry in such cases.
As rightly pointed out by the Director General of Police(DGP), Muktesh Chander, the behaviour of Goa police personnel reflects fundamental defects in training.
Our policemen badly need to go back to school and relearn to tame their anger, deflate their inflated egos and behave like policemen.
Patience is always the greatest virtue; short tempered egotistic people do not fit in any civilized police force. The policeman’s task is to ensure that the law is obeyed which at times means physically restraining members of the public and how tactfully they do it makes all the difference!
The need for a public-police relationship and indeed a friendly relationship cannot be over emphasized.
No police force can successfully carry on the task of maintaining law and order without the support, trust and confidence of the community.
With public corporation the policeman’s job becomes a lot easier and this in turns depends on the respect the people have for the law enforcement agency.
Goa Police have sullied their image and it would indeed be a tragedy for both the police as well as the public if relations between them remain strained.
The policemen who interact with the public on a regular basis are the ambassadors who can win friends or enemies for the police department. They are the face of the police force which in turn is the embodiment of state power!
All over the developed world, the stress is on securing greater involvement of the people in policing and for this the law abiding citizens should see the police as friends and feel safer when they see them on the street!
It is nobody’s argument that the policemen should tolerate or take abuses and assaults by the members of the public lying down. But in both the recent cases of police brutality, the police have picked on unarmed soft targets. If they were abusive or even assaulted the policemen, they could have been easily restrained and dealt with according to the law of the land.
What happened is a clear case of inefficient policemen savagely giving vent to frayed tampers, frustrations and bruised inflated egos.
The police are not here to create disorder but to preserve order. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave the whole country blind and toothless!
This flexing of muscles by the Goa Police at the drop of a hat has to stop!
Ironically , it is the very same police force that meekly allowed the Nigerians to run amok on the streets of Porvorim. The Goa Police higher-ups and whatever is left of our political leadership should make course correction before public anger against police goondagiri manifests into something uglier!
Technology is being increasingly used for crime detection and prevention. It would be a good idea to put cameras on traffic policemen too. If citizens and police both know that they are being watched, they are more liable to behave in the right manner.
Cameras will also leave proof of violations by either party. The normal procedure adopted by the Traffic Police today smacks of bossiness: the constable who stops you, takes your licence and leisurely walks towards his superior 50 mts away, expecting you to meekly follow him like a lamb!
This bossiness has to stop; the policemen should be made to realize that they are not the masters but are here to serve the public.
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