PUCL Bulletin, April 2003

Jharkhand police demand reforms
-- S. Bhattacharjee, President, Jharkhand State PUCL
February 26, 2003

Jharkhand police persons have launched a state-wide agitation under the banner of Jharkhand Policemen's Association (JPMA) to press their demands. These demands most of which are reasonable, remained unheeded by the Government for years. This compelled the policemen to resort to an agitation in the form of mass casual leave.

The police forces from the British Rule or even before that, had always been used by the Rulers and the high-ups to suppress the democratic rights and aspirations of the common men. The history of the police Administration is one of torture, repression and of implicating the innocent in false cases, killing by fake encounters and taking sides of the mafias, corrupt politicians and anti-social and such other powerful elements by protecting their interests and the illegal practices. All the police Stations are engaged in making huge collections by illicit and improper way, day after day. The most of the policemen in the lower ranks have always been used to perform as an instrument to all these nefarious and anti people exercises, which are no less a crime.

The Government knowing that it cannot bring about any changes or reforms in the system, to give to the people where the law demands, has been enacting, from time to time, innumerable Acts which are anti-people and against the tenets of Human Rights, the latest being "POTA". The public has experienced enough of the misuse and abuse of TADA, MIS A and now POTA. Now, the Government is threatening to cripple their own policemen under ESMA. It is disturbing that the Government has already began taking vindictive action and measures against some of the office bearers of the JPMA. Such actions will not lead to any rational solutions to the existing impasse and malaise. Such irrational attitude may aggravate the situation and the aggrieved policemen may turn belligerent.

PUCL appeals to the Government to consider the demands of the policemen in the light of reason and to form different groups of policemen - one group trained for maintenance of law and order and the other for investigation of crimes. We also urge the agitating policemen to understand that they too come from the same society of the common people and, therefore, they cannot ignore the sufferings of the people. The corrupt machine functioning to loot public money, has become a wide known fact. They should refuse to become a tool in the hands of high-ups and the corrupt tops and cease to act as oppressors of the Society.

PUCL hopes that saner counsel would prevail and the policemen and the authorities will change for better to have a human face to win the trust and respect of the general public. All disputes, we believe, can be resolved by peaceful negotiations and mutual understanding held in a cordial atmosphere.

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