Police should create a feeling of trust: Nayak

Panelists concerned over archaic laws, political interference and corruption

(L to R)  Transparency International India Chairman Justice M F Saldanha, SHRC chairman Justice S R Nayak, Lokayukta Justice Santhosh Hegde and former DGP & IG R Srikumar at a panel discussion in Bangalore on Tuesday. DH PHOTO

The panelists voiced their concern on issues ranging from incessant corruption to political interference to archaic police rules as the reason for continued use of violence by the police.

“As long as corruption does not end, it is not possible to control violation of human rights. It is sad that a person who enters the police station is subjected to so much harassment,” said State Human Rights Commission Chairman S R Nayak.

Helplessness

“I do not have the freedom to even choose qualified men for the Commission. IGP Bipin Gopalakrishna was transferred despite the fact that he was doing good work. I have already suggested two names to fill his place, but the Government has not appointed anyone yet,” Nayak lamented.

He further said that the policing profession did not have self-regulating mechanism and often low ranked police said that they were exhausted and overstretched. “In India, there is one civil policeman for every 1,037 people, while the global average is one civil policeman for every 333 people,” he said.

He said the police should create a feeling of trust and there should be an improvement in conditions of services, strength of police force and training and equipment.

Lokayukta Santhosh Hegde commented that the government was not showing any commitment towards tackling corruption. “Commissions are appointed but they do not get basic facilities or allowed to discharge their duties. This has weakened the Commissions considerably,” he said.

Hegde complained that when politicians demand that their choice of police officers or engineers be transferred to a place of their choice, it becomes apparent that the policemen are functioning in accordance to the wishes of the politicians.

ADGP (Recruitment and Training) S T Ramesh said that unless archaic rules of the police were changed, police reforms would merely be a topic of discussion at events.

‘Church attacks with cops’ support’

“The 2008 Dakshina Kannada church attacks had the tacit approval of the police. It is unfortunate that miscreants were able to carry out their activities with police co-operation,” said Retd Judge M F Saldanha.

It has been a common practice for political parties to use the police for their purposes. If a Home Minister chooses, then he can single-handedly destroy the department, he fumed.

Retd DG and IG R Sri Kumar said that the police acted like agents of the government. Expressing his displeasure over frequent transfers of police personnel, he said that if Bangalore had to face any disaster, the department would find itself unable to investigate or even decide upon a course of action.

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