Beat up criminals: For most policemen, it's a good idea

Beat up criminals: For most policemen, it's a good idea

(Representative Image) (DH File Photo)

What is in the mind of Indian policemen on dealing with criminals? One of out of five Indian policemen believes that bumping off dangerous criminals is a better idea than making them face a legal trial while four in every five personnel believe there is nothing wrong in beating up criminals to extract confessions.

Three out of four personnel also feel that there is justification for the police to be violent towards criminals. It is also interesting to note that the more educated the police personnel is, more is their agreement with being violent towards criminals though lesser-educated among them too have similar views, though marginally lesser.

According to the 'Status of Policing in India Report 2019: Police Adequacy and Working Conditions' released on Tuesday, policemen in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland and Bihar have the highest inclination for using or justifying the use of violence against suspects.

They are more likely to report that they would rather use extra-judicial means to resolve matters. They are in favour of punishing the criminals themselves, instead of going through the process of a legal trial. On the other hand, police personnel from Punjab and Odisha are most likely to prefer legal trial over meting out instant justice,” it said.

Nineteen per cent in the police force believes that killing dangerous criminals is better than a legal trial.

If one takes their educational qualifications into consideration, the report prepared by Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (Lokniti-CSDS) and 'Common Cause', 24 per cent of the postgraduates believe in killing dangerous criminals is better than a legal trial while graduates account for 20 per cent, matric to intermediate 18 per cent and up to matric 16 per cent.

To the question whether it is justified to be violent towards criminals, 75 per cent of the total police personnel believes it is justified. Among them, 77 per cent of personnel with post-graduation or above believes in violence against criminals. Same is the figure for graduates.

For 83 per cent police personnel, there is nothing wrong in police beating up criminals to extract confessions. Eighty-four per cent of postgraduates and above among police believe this while the figure for graduates it is 85 per cent. 

"From custodial deaths in Kerala to encounter killings in Uttar Pradesh, where the Chief Minister has himself reportedly claimed 'agar apradh karenge, toh thok diye jaayenge', which is a euphemism for fake police encounters or an endorsement of unjust police violence. No civilised administration in the world can get away with such unfair and unjustifiable policies," the report said.