There’s a complaint against every 10th Delhi policeman

May 12th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) On an average, 10 complaints are lodged against every 100 policemen in the Indian capital, says official data. The statistic acquires significance in the light of two cops being accused of rape and physical abuse within a span of 15 days, with the victim being a minor in one case. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), at least 62,822 complaints were filed against policemen across the country in 2006, and cases registered in 13,546 of them.

Delhi was third after Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in terms of percentage of complaints against policemen. The figure was 10 percent for the capital.

A top official of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), India’s police think tank, said lack of training, sensitivity, supervision and job satisfaction was the primary reason behind cops violating human rights.

Violent crimes like rape and murder committed by cops were “100 percent due to greed and boosting the ego,” he said.

On Saturday, a woman in east Delhi accused a policeman of molesting her and beating her up while on April 25 a traffic constable was accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in a moving car.

NCRB data shows at least 89 custodial deaths were reported in the country in 2006. Seven policemen were charge-sheeted and 11 convicted. In 2005, there were 180 cases of custodial deaths.

“What figures we portray today are much lower than the actual number. The number of complaints against policemen is escalating, which raises many questions. The matter needs to be seriously investigated, otherwise violation of human rights by policemen would continue to rise,” the official told IANS.

“Policemen are never taught how to behave with a criminal or a victim. They weigh everyone equally,” the official added.

Complaints of rights violations against police leave the public feeling helpless in a city that already has a high crime graph. Delhi reported 31.2 percent of the total rape cases and 34.7 percent of all abductions of women among 35 big cities in 2006.

Maxwell Pereira, former joint commissioner of Delhi Police, however, said one hears of complaints against policemen as they interact more with the public compared to other departments.

“At the end of day they are also part of human society. Why does the media only raise questions when some cop is found involved in a criminal case? Why can’t they highlight the police’s good work and launch a campaign against those who are constantly disobeying the apex court directions of implementing police reforms?” Pereira asked.

The Supreme Court has directed all state governments to implement the Police Draft that seeks to insulate the police from external pressures like political interference. But there has been little movement forward.

“If you really want to insulate the police then you must implement police reforms. No politician or bureaucratic lobby wants to implement them due to their own vested reasons,” said Pereira.

A senior Delhi Police official said: “We must reach the root cause of the problem. First we must implement the Police Draft that suggests a shift system for cops on a par with police in European countries. Secondly, we must give more emphasis to our existing training system.”

In India, departmental inquiry was completed against 9,081 personnel, on the basis of which 1,020 police personnel were either dismissed or removed from service.

The highest dismissals/removals, at 20.1 percent, were reported from Jammu and Kashmir, followed by Delhi at 17.8 percent and Punjab at 9.2 percent.

“Level of awareness among people has gone up tremendously in the past few years,” said Singh, a former Uttar Pradesh deputy inspector general of police from Uttar Pradesh whose petition led to the formulation of the Police Draft.

“The media always discusses police related issues when a cop is found guilty. If you really want theses cases to come down, then every one in society, officials, NGOs and the media need to raise their voice and also insulate cops from politicians.”

The police officials who spoke to IANS unanimously agreed that crimes by cops could be justified on grounds like work pressure, stress and depression. They all admitted that exemplary punishment should be meted out to the guilty.

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