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Misuse of power by the police

Instances of attacks by the police on innocent citizens and misuse of power by them are reported in the media almost every day. The police have vast powers, but these are supposed to be used for maintaining law and order and rendering assistance to the people but not falsely implicating and arresting them. A resident of Mumbai recently was falsely charged with possession of drugs and dragged to the police station. Actually the police were cooperating with the landlord of the flat who wanted to evacuate the tenant. After evicting him out of the flat, the landlord threw out all his belongings with the assistance of some goons. It is not difficult to understand why the police were cooperating with the landlord as they might have accepted bribe.

In another instance, a boy and his elder sister who were standing and chatting outside their own building were asked to go inside by the police. Since the policemen were not wearing uniform, the girl asked them to produce their identity cards. This angered the police and the two were dragged to the police station and were brutally assaulted. When the duo was produced before the court, the sister showed marks of injury on her body and the court sent her to judicial custody instead of police custody. There are also several complaints pertaining to traffic policemen slapping drivers for violating rules instead of imposing a fine on them.

On December 28, 2013, I too was falsely implicated by the traffic police of the Bhoiwada, Lalbaug police chowki just because I refused to pay them money for carrying goods in the tempo in which I was travelling. The police became angry, confiscated my tempo driver’s driving license and informed us that they would put us behind bars under section 110 and various other sections too. We were then dragged to the police chowki and made to sit there for more than four hours. We were released after paying them Rs 800. A receipt for the amount paid to them was not issued to us. On the way, many other traffic policemen were posted who stopped our vehicle and demanded money from us. We had to oblige as we did not want to undergo the same problem again.

In April 2014, Agnelo Valdaris, a Reay Road resident was brutally murdered and his body was flung on the railway tracks by the Wadala railway police to show that it was a suicide. As of today, no arrest has been made and the policemen who murdered Agnello Valdaris are roaming scot-free. CID officers are hand in glove with the corrupt police officers who killed Agnelo Valdaris, aged only 24 years. Agnelo’s two friends too were stripped naked, asked to perform oral sex on each other and then brutally tortured by the railway police. A false case was implicated against them. Perhaps money plays an important role with regard to various law and order operations by the police.

Black sheep exists in every profession and the police are no exception. Policemen take law into their own hands just because they are supported by goons and corrupt politicians. What is however a matter for concern is that the number of black sheep in the police force is far more than what it is in other professions! The Indian police have gained a very bad name in foreign countries on account of their bad behaviour. Shame on them! And the worst thing is that our corrupt judicial system supports them.

As a journalist and letter writer for various newspapers and magazines, I am not at all afraid of writing against our corrupt police force, MLAs, politicians and judicial system. Take a round in the market, and you will notice cops accepting bribes from dhabawallas, chaiwallahs, vegetable vendors and fruit sellers. These poor men, who earn very little, are harassed by the policemen everyday. And if you refuse to offer bribes to cops you are beaten black and blue and a false case is registered against you. The entire police department, including the Police Commissioner is aware about this misdeed but is doing nothing to help the poor citizens of our country. They only trust their own men in uniform, rather than the public, who are harassed by the entire police department almost everyday.

Jubel D’Cruz

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