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Police brutality at an all-time high

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Instances of attacks by the Indian police on innocent citizens and misuse of power by them are reported in the media almost every day. The police have tremendous powers, but they should be used to maintain law and order and render assistance to the public. But however, we see exactly the opposite happening. Police also slap vehicle owners/drivers for violating road rules instead of imposing a fine on them. I have seen it with my own eyes, that’s why I’m writing this article! The increase in police brutality in this country is a frightening reality. In the last decade alone, the number of innocent people killed and tortured by the police has reached 5,000.

On December 28, 2013, I was falsely implicated by the traffic police constables of the Bhoiwada, Lalbaug police chowki at Parel in Mumbai just because I refused to pay them money (or hafta, as you would call it) for carrying a refrigerator in the tempo in which I was travelling (I was travelling from Dombivili to Mumbai CST). The police became angry when I refused to pay money to them and confiscated my tempo driver’s driving license and informed me that they would put me behind bars under section 110 and various other sections too and lodge a false case against me. I was then dragged by the collar to the police chowki and made to sit there for more than four hours. I was allowed to go only 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. I had to oblige as I did not want to undergo the same problem again.

In India, policemen misuse their powers and take the law into their own hands just because they are supported by thugs and corrupt politicians. What is however a matter of concern, is that the number of black sheep in the police force is quite more than what it is in other professions. The Indian police have gained a very bad name abroad on account of their rude and selfish behaviour. And the worst thing is that, our corrupt judicial system supports them.

If you take a round in the bazaar, you will see policemen accepting bribes from tiffin carriers, tea vendors, vegetable sellers and even those selling fruits. These poor men, who earn very little, are harassed by the policemen everyday. And if you resist in offering bribes to policemen, you are beaten black and blue and a false case is registered against you. The entire police department, including the Police Commissioner is aware of this racket but is doing nothing to help the poor citizens of our country. They only trust their own men in uniform and not the common man, who are harassed by the entire police department almost everyday. 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, I was just thrown out.

Jubel D’Cruz

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