TODAY -

Protectors turned criminals
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: July 08 2015 -



In India, it is no longer a strange phenomenon to notice the Police uniform evoking fear.

Since the colonial period, Police forces in the country have been facing problems of both perception and image building.

The Police forces have been often seen as exhibiting the signs of oppression and cruelty without compunction.

This has become even more problematic in societies which have been excessively militarized due to political turmoil and insurgencies.

There are number of issues that have dogged the police forces and these issues also had impacted the smooth functioning and performance of the Police.

Besides the lack of accountability, what has shocked any observer is the continuing trend of criminalizing the Police forces.

With the initiation of the Police reform movement, there has been some effort given to correct the anomalies.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ordered that Police reform must take place and asked the States and Union Territories to comply with certain binding directives.

The sluggish reactions of the States and Union Territories on the reform initiative could be analyzed from various localized perspectives vis--vis the inheritance of a redundant system.

Against this backdrop, the revelation by Home Minister Gaikhangam that 187 personnel from the State Police Force including Manipur Rifles, Village Defence Force (VDF) and commandos have been found involved in different crimes between 2012 and 2015 says a lot about the state of policing in Manipur.

According to the Manipur Home Minister, seven guilty personnel belonging to state forces have also been dismissed by the Government for their involvement in criminal activities.

He further informed that enquiries are on against the remaining personnel.

While acknowledging the fact that prolonged militarization also did play a role in the process of criminalizing the police force, one should be reminded that there are no two arguments on the contention that those who have been assigned to protect the citizens should never be allowed to become the victimizers and criminals of the first order.



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