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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
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Police Imperil The People They Are Supposed To Protect

Politicisation has drained the police of public trust and made them into a partisan tool, writes Editor-in-chief Ruben Banerjee.

Police Imperil The People They Are Supposed To Protect
Police Imperil The People They Are Supposed To Protect
outlookindia.com
2020-01-17T13:00:15+05:30

I got a lesson about how badly the police are politicised quite early in life, having spent two hours in a stinking Calcutta Police lockup on being falsely implicated by CPI(M) apparatchiks in a neighbourhood brawl. Yet, nothing could have prepared me for what has been playing out in the aftermath of the violence in JNU in recent days. If the brutal assault on some students of what is otherwise supposed to be a preeminent seat of learning was atrocious, the brazenness with which Delhi Police apparently sought to foist a false narrative on how the attack unfolded is simply appalling.

That the police of this country try to please, as a principle, their political masters is no surprise. Almost every Indian institution has over the years been compromised to varying degrees and the pol­ice have not been immune to this worrying trend. But in no time, perhaps, has the decline in policing standards been this stark and this shocking. Masked goons gain unfettered entry into a university right in the middle of the national capital and go about breaking whatever came within their sight, including a few skulls. Rampage over, they troop out in full view of the police as if they were returning from a carefree walk in the park. The worst followed when the police lodged FIRs, naming several victims as perpetrators of the assault.

Broken glass panes and limbs apart, the other big casualty of the episode has und­oubtedly been the police’s credibility, or whatever is left of it. The notoriety of the force is at an all-time high and it’s a national phenomenon, rather than just being a problem with Delhi Police alone. Pol­iticisation of the police is complete in West Bengal with chief minister Mamata Banerjee staging public demonstrations in...

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