Friday, September 17, 2021
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Misuse of power by police

There are black sheep in every profession and the police are no exception. They take the law into their own hands just because they are supported by thugs and corrupt politicians. Take a round in the market and you will notice policemen accepting bribes from hawkers. These poor folk, who earn very little, are harassed by the cops’ everyday. And if they resist in giving the cops money, they are beaten black and blue and a false case is registered against them. The Police department is aware about this racket but is not taking any steps to help the poor citizens of the country

In Mumbai recently, a group of 23 jewellers filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking action against six policemen for illegally detaining them at a police station under false charges as they had refused to pay them bribe. The bribe the police demanded from each jeweller was Rs 1 crore. The court did not take any action against the cops because they are ‘sarkari damads’. (government servants). Even while shifting my residence recently, I had to pay hafta (money) to the several policemen stationed on the way.

In May 2007, Arun Ferreira, a Human Rights activist of Bandra, Mumbai was implicated in a number of false cases and arrested under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2014 for no fault of his. At the police station he was made to strip off his clothes and beaten black and blue every day. Sometimes he was even denied food. Even the court did not release him in spite of proving his innocence. In Arun Ferreira’s own words: “My arms were tied to a window grill high above the ground while two policemen stood on my outstretched thighs to keep me pinned to the floor. This was calculated to cause maximum pain without leaving visible injuries. Despite these precautions, my ears started to bleed and my jaws began to swell. Sometimes, I was even denied food and given dog’s excreta to eat. ”

The police possess vast powers, but they are supposed to be used for maintaining law and order and rendering assistance to the public and not falsely implicating and arresting them like they did to the two Palghar girls, Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan for posting a comment on Facebook in the wake of Bal Thackeray’s death which the Shiv Sena leaders disapproved.

Instances of attacks by the police on innocent citizens and misuse of power by them are reported in the media almost every day. I too have suffered at the hands of the police on account of no fault of mine. And when I went to the Police Commissioner’s office to lodge a complaint, they just wouldn’t listen to me or write down my complaint. The very men who are supposed to uphold the law are routinely found misusing their powers. What is equally shocking is that senior officials ignore complaints of police high-handedness. ¬In India, the police misuse their powers and take the law into their own hands. The laws are such that even if you commit a murder or rape a woman you are not arrested. All you have to do is pay some money to the police and you are set free.

Jubel D’Cruz

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