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Police reforms are a must

Mumbai Police shall ensure the Rule of Law, enforce the law of the land impartially and firmly without fear or favour (courtesy mumbaipolice.org) is the mission statement of the force. But in reality, the force, considered as next to Scotland Yard for it’s rate of detection, is yet to overcome the fear of politicos in their day-to-day routine. Command of this uniformed disciplined force is under tremendous stress as political parties interfere directly in their recruitment, posting, transfer and promotions.

To oblige their political masters, the police officers take less interest in the difficult task of enforcing the rule of law and spend more time in serving the common man. Forget the common man, in the pile of pending cases, even their own men have been denied justice. Last year a constable dared to go against his own force and offered a rose to MNS chief Raj Thackerey in a public gathering at Azad Maidan, for taking up the cause of policemen. Recently, another constable sought help of MNS, for taking a Sena leader to task.

Persons with political influence and money have little difficulty in manipulating the police for their own selfish ends. It is not a coincidence that almost all political parties resist police reforms. Several aspects of police administration have been discussed since the 1960s. The state initiatives for police reforms in the 1960s remained fruitless or mechanical exercises despite some of the State Police Commissions giving useful recommendations.

With no proper reforms in place, the force continues to be tagged as the ‘armed wing of the ruling party’. The politician-police-criminal nexus will keep getting stronger till the politicians have no hand in postings of the police officials.

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