Winter has finally arrived with all its baggage. Fog keeps Sun camouflaged for most of the morning when clouds do not takeover from it. Temperature fell to make shivering a reality. Hourly interaction with Kahwah (Kashmir tea) is a necessity. The holiday season is full of lethargy. But not for everyone.
Thousands of young boys and girls are out there at India Gate & Raisina Hill (President House) protesting for being in an unsafe city for women and demanding improvement of law and order. Perhaps they should have also asked for a proper forensic investigation and speedy justice. Even though the protesters do not say in words they mean everything. While these common commuters suffer everyday at the hands of pick-pocket, thugs, rogue Auto-rickshaw & bus staff, police is busy extracting weekly allowance from squatters and providing protection to VIPs (read Politicians). 70% of Police force in Delhi is deployed to ensure safe life for Politicians. A part of the job of police is to hold traffic for smooth passage of VIPs while commuters like protesters try to find new excuses for their bosses for being late. In Delhi less than a hundred thousand Politicians are protected by 70% force and more than ten million by remaining 30%. The total force deployed is about seventy thousand. When it comes to traffic law enforcement, motorbike riders are subjected to daily humiliation, sometime several times a day, on the pretext of checking their papers. The profile of protesters is nothing but everyday victim of police itself. The protest is volcano of simmering dissent which is trying to find a way out.
Accountability of Police:
Delhi has a unique disability. The law and order is not under the control of elected Government. Against all Principles of democracy armed police force is not answerable to elected body. It is answerable to Union Home Minister.
It would be a high time that a debate may ensue that why the political institutions like Parliament be shifted to safe zone at new distant city where they may be kept protected like newborn are kept in incubators. But that is not the end of problems. When these fearful representatives of people return to the very people they claim to represent, they need more protection. The disparity of police availability for common man continues there as well. Thus what is the Problem of Delhi is actually a problem of every city of India.
Whatever may be the cause of protest, it does not hide the fact that except for the matters upon which glare of media is focused upon, Policing and crime investigation is last priority of police. The first priority as stated above is protection of those near the center of power. Corruption, poor qualifications, authoritarians, lack of communication, disrespect for law (see picture on the left) and arbitrariness are other problems.
No difficulty in suggesting the solution but it will not be implemented.
First: Create a new educated force of Investigators with experts in criminology and forensics. Entrust them with crime investigation. It can be started with city to city basis. (Something like CSI)
Second: Keep existing force and structure for enforcement of law only. If they encounter crime scene, they should immediately call the Investigators.
Third: Reduce work hours of police. Presently they have to work 12-18 hrs everyday. Most of them do not go home except in a month or fortnight. They live in police stations or in tents inside police stations. We can not expect compassion from some one living in such horrible conditions.
Fourth: Trials of all cases must be on day to day basis, as is the mandate of law, under Criminal Procedure Code. It must be adhered scrupulously.
None of above shall be implemented. If done, it will change everything. No body wants drastic changes. The entire edifice of power which relies heavily on muscle power, will collapse. We may wish what we want but we can only protest, without hope.
© Sandeep Bhalla