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E-Pao! Opinions - Police Brutality- A Mockery Of Democracy

POLICE BRUTALITY- A MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY
By: Dizzy Leiri*




In a conflict ridden state like Manipur or any other insurgency hit states or areas in India and around the world. The civil populations have always had a tough time at the hands of both the ‘conflicting forces armed with guns’, the public and the local people have always been made to eat the humble pie, and at many instances they have been butted by rifles and made to bore the anger of the Security Forces for reasons whatsoever. And here in India and even in our own home state of Manipur; the Police brutality has often made a complete mockery of the Democracy that we pride ourselves in.

No wonder the popularity and the public acceptance of the Police – The Men in Uniform has reached an all time low. In Manipur especially, people are wary of the Police, for they represent nothing but ‘corrupted men in Khakis walking around with their lathis eager to prey and pounce on innocent civilians like You and Me’. Show them the ‘Green-Notes’ and they are so very happy that they would let you go Scot-Free. Blame it on the system, or blame it on their salary, blame it on their superiors, or blame it on the rain or the blame it on the girl down the road. But this not the way ‘A Real Police Man should behave’, milking the public dry and making the public a scapegoat for every wrongs and errors that ‘THEY- The Police’ committed.

I think it’s high time ‘Our Police Force get them-selves an Education in what Real -Policing is all about’. And let me state here that ‘Policing’ is not about harassing innocent people, and taking innocent people for a ride, and framing them up as hardcore militants, or faking encounters so that they can move up the “Hierarchy-Ladder”. Instead Policing is more about being polite, being transparent, being people friendly, and being approachable. Let me remind our Police Force the full form of the term ‘Police’, which I believe they have forgotten in this hustle and hurried world due to the call of duty and work pressures.

The term ‘POLICE’ stands for:-
P - POLITENESS
O - OBEDIENCE
L - LOYALTY
I - INTEGRITY
C - CO-OPERATION
E - ENDURANCE


Let us hope that the Police Force will re-orient themselves, and change their behavior for the better. Because no being or profession in this world can exist without the aid and help of the public and for heaven sake, India is a country that prides itself in democracy and our great democratic legacy. We don’t call ourselves ‘the World Largest Democracy for nothing’. In this context I would like to remind the Police that they are “Public Servants” and the public and the local people are not their fiefdoms where they can do and act as they please. Rather they are here to serve and assist the people when and where needed.

The Churachandpur Police were in the news recently for both commendable and deeply condemnable acts, for good and a very bad reason. The Commendable act was that the Churachandpur Police has yet seized again a huge cache of arms and ammunitions during a raid at Thingkhangphai – a locality under Churachandpur Police Station on the 29th of September. The Seized arms included four Ak 56 Rifles, Two M-16 Rifles, one G-3 Rifle and a large quantity of ammunition. The Churachandpur Police showed how gutsy they are once again, and this is truly a commendable act, which the Police Force in the other districts of Manipur should try and emulate. But soon after that, a very unfortunate incident happened which made the Churachanpur Police ‘Zeroes from Heroes’ within a spate of 48 hours.

The following day i.e the 30th of September, the Police biggest wig – the DGP AK Parashar, IPS, came to Churachandpur (mention may be made here that this is the DGP’s first visit to the second largest town in the state of Manipur) to inspect the weapons captured by the Churachandpur Police, and to pat the shoulders of his men and subordinates who had done him really proud. The Churachanpur Police wants the whole world to know, and so Press Reporters and Press Men both from the Electronic Media and the Print Media were called immediately to the SP’s office to capture in words and on film ‘The Police-Men basking in their Moment of Glory’.

Having always co-operated with the Police Force, the Press-men both from the print and the electronic media rushed to the SP’s office leaving aside other important assignments. Upon reaching the SP’s office, the Press Men were told to wait outside, the pressmen waited dutifully. Then after-sometime, the Press-men were ushered in to take photos. The DGP and other Police Officials striking their best pose, flashing their best manly macho smile with the arms seized at Thingkangphai on the 29th of September, as the Press-men clicked away with their Cameras. Then the unbelievable happened, as soon as the Photo-Session was over, the Press-Men who were only armed with their cameras and pens, and who were waiting for the ‘Press Conference’ were rudely commanded without any particular reason ‘TO GET OUT OF THE OFFICE’. As if that was a humiliation not enough, the Press-men were told to by the Police-men at the verandah of the SP’s office building to “GET LOST’ “AS THEY WERE NO LONGER NEEDED”

The Press-men no doubt felt humiliated and enraged to no end but there was nothing they can do. The Police-men were treating them only as ‘commodities to be used and thrown’. And the presence of two Senior Editors in the midst of the Press-men makes the Police’s action and behavior all the more condemnable. It is unbelievable that incidents like this still actually happened in a modern and progressive world of ours today. The SP or maybe even the DGP should have ensured that the Press-men were treated fairly with respect and with dignity. This only goes to show that EQ (Emotional Quotient) and not only IQ is needed to be a good public and administrative officer.

The Press-men were too shocked and stunned and were lost for words, because this was an incident without a precedent – a first of its kind, The Ccpur Reporters Forum called an Emergency Meeting on the 30th of September, and condemned the Police arrogant attitude and high-handedness in the strongest term possible. The ‘Condemnation’ issued by the Ccpur Reporters Forum was published in the leading dailies of the Churachandpur town on the 1st of October, 2004,demanding an unqualified apology from the Police Department for their ‘Unruly, Barbaric and Uncivilized Behavior’.

The Police high handedness in this whole affair is simply uncalled for. The Police should realize that ‘every profession’ in this world is as important as theirs, and that every profession needs the help of other profession if it is survived and to thrive. And in the modern world of today, where the world has become a global village due to inventions and technological innovations, the Press-men have an important role to play in the society, and in this regardless and demanding profession where they have to report without fear and favor; life is not always a bed of roses.

I would like to request the Local M.L.A (the Ccpur town MLA) and Cabinet Minister Shri. Phungzathang Tonsing to personally take up this matter, this case of ‘gross humiliation’ of the Press Fraternity by the Police Force, the Police should apologize for the wrong they have done on the press community, if they are too egoistic to issue an apology, then the higher powers should force them to issue an apology. I would like to request Shri Phungzathang Tongsing once again, to ensure that ‘Justice’ is done, and the pride and dignity of the Press Fraternity in the Churachandpur town restored at any cost.

As a Resident of the Churachandpur town and as a good and law abiding citizen of this great nation -India, I must say I am deeply shamed and saddened by the way the Churachandpur Police-men treated the Press-men and the Reporters with contempt and disdain and with utter disrespect. The Police-men, the Men in uniform have made ‘A MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY’ once again. And as a Citizen of this Great Nation which Prides itself in its democracy and democratic institutions and values, I hung my head in shame…. and here I rest my case.


Dizzy Leiri writes for the first time to e-pao.net.
He can be contacted at dizzyleiri@yahoo.com



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