Corruption: Revolting and Rampaging Police in India

By Sajjad Shaukat

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extremist party-BJP had got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2014 on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans. Therefore, since the Prime Minister Modi came to power, he has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda with the support of fanatic coalition outfits. Now, same slogans-based policy has become the BJP strategy to win the Indian general elections 2019.

Intensifying state terrorism in the Indian Occupied Kashmr (IOK), as per instructions of the Prime Minister Modi, Indian forces have accelerated ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), as Modi wants to divert the attention of Indians from the domestic problems and scandals such as corruption etc. Another major purpose of the BJP-led government is to malign Pakistan and its security agencies by creating war-hysteria inside India to win the forthcoming elections 2019.

In his anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan rhetoric, Modi has forgotten the internal problems which general masses of India, especially the government servants are facing. Instead of improving the economy of the country, Modi wants to make India, an economic power to counter China in regional and global markets. In order to win the forthcoming elections, Modi’s hastily planned economic reforms have created many domestic social evils in the country and have resulted into wearisome economic policies for citizens.

In this regard, a recent survey disclosed that Narendra Modi made “huge promises to boost India’s economy—add millions of jobs and bring the good times back to the developing nation. The fact is that India’s economic expansion has slowed to its lowest level in three years. Small businesses are still struggling after a considerable refurbishment of the Indian currency and sales tax system.”

Modi’s own allies and party members are criticizing him for such monetary decisions and think this is going to affect Modi vote bank in 2019 elections in India.

In this respect, BJP former lawmaker and finance minister Yashwant Sinha, while pointing out poorly planned economic reforms pointed out, “Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the work force, is in the doldrums and exports have dwindled.”

The foremost BJP lawmaker, Subramanian Swamy stated, “The economy is in a tailspin. Yes, it can crash…We need to do a lot of good things to revive the economy…If nothing is done, we are heading for a major depression.”

While the Indian economists have warned the Modi-led “government that may be too little, too late, India which is considered as darling in international markets as buyers of arms and ammunitions is facing loss because of less foreign investments in its local markets…New economic reforms shattered its economy.”
However, Modi’s extremist policies, particularly economic reforms started backfiring on the non-government and the government entities directly or indirectly, who have been facing depression and frustration. Failure of these economic plans has especially affected the Indian police officials who have accelerated the practice of corruption.

In this connection, face with depression, on November 2, 2018, a virtual revolt was registered by trainee constables (mostly women) against their senior officer outside Police Lines, Lodipur, Buddha Colony Police station, Patna, Bihar as a protest on death of a young trainee woman constable namely Savita who was allegedly denied leave for medical treatment. The protestors went on rampage, tried to lynch DSP Muhammad Mashulludin—rampaged his house and injured his family members, manhandled SP (Rural) and several other DSPs. Local SSP MannuMaharaj was even disallowed to enter the premises. DSP Muhammad Mashulludin was later shifted to hospital in critical condition.

Bihar government dismissed 175 trainee police constables and suspended 23 police officials (havildars and assistant sub-inspectors) for rampaging. Reportedly, nearly 400 police constables, including 200 women had gone on a rampage. They damaged police vehicles and attacked several senior officers and ransacked the office in the Police Lines premises in Patna. Chief Minister Bihar Nitish Kumar has ordered for an enquiry.

In February 2018, media had reported that 150 constable of Bihar police were missing from Patna. Reportedly, 150 police constables were absent without leave (AWOL) and their whereabouts were missing. It was rumoured that majority of the absent constables had either gone to Middle East for labour work or engaged in private business. In another related news story in July this year, seven policemen (including two inspectors) of special branch of the Bihar police, deputed on security of residence of the chief minister Bihar, were suspended over “security lapses” and laxity. The special branch of the Bihar police is responsible for security at CM’s house.

In a function organization in February 2017, it was admitted by the DG Vigilance Department
Mr. Ravindra Kumar that out of 42 state departments, maximum number of corruption cases were reported against police department. He also admitted that a total of around 125 public servants were arrested for taking bribe and 25 percent arrested people belonged to the police department.

It is notable that discipline of police/Law Enforcing Agencies of most of the Indian states is touching lowest ebb. Rampant corruption, low salaries, political interference, communal tendencies, regional biases and gender problems etc. have crept deep inside the police department. Moreover, BJP has been attempting to “Hinduize” the police through interference in recruitment process in the states where the party has formed governments for obvious reasons. Giving a “Communal role” to the police will further cause to the already weakening police department.

It is mentionable that India has 1.9 million policemen who do not enjoy good reputation. Their role in maintenance of law and order has remained dismal as in the incidents of mob lynching; perpetrators were not checked by the police. Reportedly, Uttarakhand (Formerly known as Uttaranchal) state forbids citizen to carry more than 200 rupees in pocket due to fear of traffic police corruption. More than half of companies operating in India pay for security. Three-quarters of surveyed households in India perceive the police to be corrupt and citizens frequently encounter bribery demands when dealing with officers.

A report in 2018 by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (an NGO) had measured compliance by Indian states with six separate directives on police reform issued by India’s Supreme Court in 2006 not a single state had fully complied. Many Indians concluded that politicians are unwilling to reform the police, because the force serves the interests of politicians perfectly well.

Moreover, due to increasing political interference, other institutions of India are also witnessing deterioration. Recent cataclysm in Central Bureau of Investigations, India (CBI) is a vivid example.

Nevertheless, revolt in Bihar police has also exposed that Indian police has strong shades of “Communalism” as DSP Muhammad Mashulludin was tried to be lynched of his house ransacked and family manhandled, just because he is a Muslim.

Notably, such incidents will cause further shrinking of Muslim’s ratio in Indian police which is already very thin. A detailed study titled “Status of Policing in India Report 2018. A Study of Performance and Perception” showed that the ratio of Muslims in police to the population was abysmally law and reflected on people trust and perception of discrimination. As per figures, Muslim ratio in states police is less than 2% on the average.

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