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Police Brutality: A frightening reality in India-Part I

Black sheep exist in every profession and the police are no exception. They (the police) 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 tiffin carriers, tea vendors and even from those selling vegetables, fruits, flowers and household items. These poor vendors’ who earn very small remuneration are harassed by the policemen everyday. And if one refuses to offer them bribes, they are beaten black and blue and a false case is registered against them. The Police Commissioner is aware about this racket in which police officials are involved but is doing nothing to help the poor citizens of the country. He only trusts his own men in uniform, and not the common man who is harassed by the entire police department almost everyday. Perhaps, he (the Police Commissioner) must be receiving a share of the booty.

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. On December 28, 2013, I was falsely implicated by the traffic police constables of the Bhoiwada, Lalbaug-Parel police chowki in Mumbai just because I refused to bribe them for carrying goods in the tempo in which my wife and I were travelling. The police officials became angry and they confiscated my tempo driver’s driving license and told us that they would put us behind bars. They also threatened to register a false case against us under section 110 and other sections too.

The woman constable threatened my tempo driver that he would not get his driving licence back unless and until he stands as witness in the court telling the judge that I spoke rudely to them. Infact I only asked them the reason behind why they are asking me to pay the fine. Men/women in uniform think they can do what they want. If the Police Commissioner of Mumbai is reading this, I would urge him to take a strong action against traffic constables of the Bhoiwada Police Station in Parel.

I, my wife and the tempo driver were then dragged by the collar to the police chowki and made to sit there for more than four hours. We were permitted to leave the police chowki only after paying a fine of Rs 800. A receipt for the amount paid to them was not given to us. On the way back home, there were other traffic policemen too who stopped our vehicle and demanded money from us. We had to oblige as we did not want to face the same situation once again. Cops should learn to discipline themselves and talk politely with the people. It is we, the common man/woman who are doing them a favour and not the other way round.

(This is a first part of the article and the remaining part will continue tomorrow)

Jubel D’Cruz

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