Police must look beyond jurisdictions

There is no end to the war of jurisdictions in the police force. On Wednesday, this newspaper reported about the plight of a 15-year-old mentally challenged girl who was gang-raped in the Churchgate subway in April 2014.

Waiting for justice, the girl, suffering from asthma lost her life while the Marine Drive police station and Churchgate GRP squabbled over the FIR, for almost a year. Even superiors were at loggerheads for not registering FIRs with their respective departments.

In several serious offences, the complainants give up registering FIRs as the cops make them run from pillar to post over jurisdiction issues. However, their jurisdiction has no bounds when it comes to collecting bribes.

Less than fortnight ago, a sub-inspector from Vile Parle police station and a constable from Juhu police station were accused of collecting bribes from people based beyond their jurisdictions.

In September 2013, the body of an electrocuted man was discovered in an electricity cabin. The cops and fire officials from Mumbai and Thane squabbled over who would take custody of the decomposing body of the deceased. Each team tried to wash its hands off the corpse, while helpless locals waited for power supply to be restored to their homes.

Police station staff usually ignore FIRs for three reasons; one to keep the crime statistics low, secondly, to save themselves the effort of paperwork and investigating the case, and thirdly to make a quick buck by arm twisting the person against whom the complaint has been lodged. In many cases, they even dilute the seriousness of the issue to serve somebody’s interest.

Till date, many officers have been suspended and several warnings have been issued but the clash over jurisdiction has always been a cause of concern for the department.

Instead of squabbling over FIRs, if the cops route the documents through concerned higher ups, no complainant will ever return dissatisfied from the police station.

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